Iraq Turns to Neighbors to Ease Economic Strains

RIYADH—Under tension from very low oil prices, Iraq is trying to get billions of dollars in credit card debt reduction from Kuwait and shifting to bolster ties with Saudi Arabia, as the coronavirus pandemic compels Baghdad to courtroom allies that could assist it stave off an economic crisis.

Finance Minister Ali Allawi, who is also deputy primary minister and acting oil minister, said he was proposing that Kuwait delay or terminate some $three billion that Iraq owes in reparations for the 1990-91 Gulf War, when dictator Saddam Hussein burned Kuwaiti oil fields.