The Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, arrived in Baghdad today to attend the Arab League summit. It is the first visit to Iraq by a Kuwaiti leader since the 1990 Gulf War.
After deplaning at Baghdad airport, the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki kissed the Kuwaiti emir on the cheek and the two held hands as they walked down the runway. In a tweet, Washington Post correspondent Liz Sly, who is in Baghdad to cover the summit, called the moment "reconciliation."
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The Arab League summit is the first major international gathering hosted by Iraq for "decades," according to the BBC. But security is extremely tight, telephones wre working intermittently, and Twitter messages from corresponents in the city swirled with rumors of an unconfirmed bomb blast. The city is under curfew.
The BBC wrote that only eight of the 22 leaders of the Arab League have turned up. Baghdad airport is closed to commercial traffic for the duration of the conference. The venue of the meeting was not even disclosed to journalists, the news network wrote.
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Liz Sly tweeted:
22 years of hostility between Iraq and Kuwait healed with a kiss on the runway at Baghdad airport today. Aww. #ALIraq— Liz Sly (@LizSly) March 29, 2012