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The liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation cost the emirate more than $22 billion, Finance Minister Nasser Abdulla al-Rod-han said.

"The total cost incurred by the state budget for the liberation of Kuwait reached $22.6 billion," he told Kuwait's al-Qabas newspaper"This figure is nothing compared to the return of Kuwait to its legitimate owners and the restoration of legitimacy."

The minister was thought to be referring to the cost of financing the U.S.-led force that ended Iraq's seven-month occupation of the emirate in February.