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Kuwait emir in Iraq for Arab League summit; first visit since the 1990 Gulf War

The Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki kissed the cheek of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait after he deplaned in Baghdad.

kuwait emir tokyo baghdad airport kiss holdinghandsEnlarge
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (C) inspects an honour guard during an official welcoming ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on March 21, 2012. (Itsuo Inouye/AFP/Getty Images)

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:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/120329/kuwait-emir-iraq-prime-minister-kiss-holding-hands-reconciliation