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The London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat said on Wednesday that the dispute was disclosed a few days ago by Islamist MP Nasir al-Sana during a meeting with his voters.
Al-Sana said that before and during the Iraq war, Kuwait supplied the US army with fuel worth $450 million free of charge, its contribution to the overthrow of the government of Saddam Hussein.
Supplies continued after the war and the emirate recently demanded payment of $500 million after calculating the amount at a preferential price of $21 a barrel, al-Sana was quoted as saying.
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld responded with a tough-worded letter saying that Washington had liberated the emirate from Iraqi occupation in 1991, and because it enjoys a fiscal surplus there is no need to demand the payment.
Annoyed by the harsh response, the Kuwaiti government summoned US Ambassador Richard LeBaron in protest.
Later, the US administration offered to pay $7 a barrel, al-Sana added.
Al-Sana's account was confirmed by the parliamentary source, who said Kuwait may soon dispatch its foreign and energy ministers to Washington to settle the dispute.
KUWAIT: The United States and its staunch ally Kuwait are locked in a dispute over Washington's failure to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for fuel supplies for its army, a parliamentary source said yesterday. Kuwait is asking the United States to pay some $500m for fuel it supplied to the US army after the US-led war on Iraq two years ago but Washington has said it would pay less than one-third of the amount, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
[Middle East News] KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait denied yesterday it was locked in a dispute with the United States over hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel supplies to the US army in Iraq.
Energy Minister Shaikh Ahmad Fahd Al Sabah told reporters he was “surprised” at reports of an alleged dispute between the two countries which he said were discussing a “payment mechanism” for future supplies.
“There are contacts between Kuwait and the United States regarding fuel supplies, not over the issue of debt but on ways to find a payment mechanism for the future,” he said.