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|Thursday, January 11, 2001, updated at 08:19(GMT+8)|
Lebanese Official Urges Iraq to Release Kuwaiti POWsVisiting Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday called on Iraq to release hundreds of Kuwaiti prisoners of war (POWs) during the 1991 Gulf War and put an end to the humanitarian issue.
"If they are alive, it (Iraq) should turn them to their parents and if they are dead, their bodies should be handed over," Berri said at a press conference held here before wrapping up his four- day visit to Kuwait.
Berri pointed out that the POW issue is not a Kuwaiti cause but an Arab and Islamic humanitarian issue, adding that the Iraqi government "should bear the responsibility and release the detainees immediately."
Kuwait insists that Iraq is still holding more than 600 Kuwaiti and third country nationals who were snatched in Kuwaiti streets by Iraqi troops and brought to Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. But Baghdad denied the Kuwaiti allegation.
In his remarks, the Lebanese official also expressed gratitude to Kuwait and Syria for offering political and financial support to Beirut.
"The liberation of south Lebanon would not have been achieved without the support of the Kuwaiti and Syrian brothers," Berri said.
Kuwait has been a staunch supporter to Lebanon in its fight against Israel's occupation of the Lebanese territories, and has made generous contributions in helping rebuild the Israeli- destroyed infrastructure like power stations in Lebanon.
During the visit, Berri met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Jaber Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Saad Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah, and his Kuwaiti counterpart Jassem Al-Khorafi.
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