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Jordanian Official Visits Kuwait

March 2, 1999

KUWAIT (AP) _ Jordan’s foreign minister came to Kuwait today, a visit that puts an official end to a break between the two Arab countries over the 1990-91 Gulf crisis.

Jordan, unlike Gulf nations and several Arab states, did not join the U.S.-led alliance against Iraq in the Gulf War, and many Kuwaitis felt Jordan tilted toward Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Relations between Kuwait and Jordan began to improve in 1996, when Jordan’s King Hussein distanced himself from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and called for political change in Iraq. The foreign minister’s visit had been scheduled for last month, but was postponed because of King Hussein’s death.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Abdul-Illah Khatib, did not speak to reporters at the airport. He was taken to a meeting with the Kuwaiti emir, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

Khatib will reopen the Jordanian Embassy on Wednesday. It has been closed since the Gulf crisis, although Kuwait’s diplomatic mission in Amman remained open, headed by a charge d’affaires.

Many Kuwaitis are not as enthusiastic as their government about normalizing relations with Jordan.

Some still recall pro-Iraqi demonstrations in the Jordanian capital after the 1990 Iraqi invasion. And some lawmakers have said they do not want to open the door for the return of more than 320,000 Jordanians who left during and after the crisis.

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