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Sunday , November 18 2018

Back to borders, Al-Alawi

It’s ‘Saddam invasion’

have received so many comments from friends related to what the Iraqi politician Hassan Al-Alawi said on the subject of Kuwait’s borders with Iraq and almost everyone said that many of us know about this agreement.

Dr Abdullah Al-Ghunaim, head of the Kuwait Studies and Research Center, also told me that Al-Alawi’s statement was inaccurate. He pointed out Iraq’s borders with other neighboring countries were not clearly agreed upon at the time.

The 1932 Agreement on the demarcation was based primarily on what the Ottoman Empire and the British had agreed to, the latter as the protector of Kuwait in 1913. It is the agreement which was not ratified definitively because of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the World War I.

However, it was a major reference to demarcate the border with Iraq during the presence of Nuri Al-Said at the head of the Iraqi Ministry in 1932. Dr Al-Ghunaim also added that the book ‘Kuwait presence and borders’ published by the Center after the liberation of Kuwait included all these agreements in detail, translated into ten languages and 100,000 copies were distributed, in addition to that it had been earlier published at the expense of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Let me add here that I feel we still fail to highlight these facts. The free distribution of 100,000 copies of the book does not mean that a majority have read it and are supportive of the right of Kuwait, so I do not think the book has helped change the opinions of a large number of the Iraqis.

It is clear and known to all that this is what I have seen over a quarter of a century through various means, during meetings and observations that there is complete unawareness among the Iraqis in general, and even politicians and intellectuals of these facts that I am in constant contact with them.

The reason lies in our failure to convey this fact to the largest number of people. This is our role and we are under obligation to focus on it more intensively and to talk about the agreement through various means of communication, especially as there is nostalgia among the Iraqis to return to the monarchy and they feel sad about the ‘dark’ fate of their former prime minister who was the initiator of the request to define the borders of his country with Kuwait.

In a letter sent by Sheikha Maimouna Al-Sabah, she said she read my article with interest and that she agrees with me completely that what was said by Hassan Al-Alawi that no Kuwaiti politician has ever touched it, despite its importance, especially as it relates to the subject of Kuwait’s strong and independent status from Iraq along the past hundred years at least.

Kuwait was not connected to anything with Iraq which was divided into four states and with the Ottoman State. This was our time of protection. Our affairs were managed from India, but in fact our association with Britain was through its government in India, thus Iraq has no direct rule over Kuwait in any form.

Sheikha Maimouna added that she had dealt in detail in her book ‘Kuwait under British protection’ with the subject of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi borders, especially in the British-Turkish agreement of 1913 in accordance with the Green Line mentioned in the map that was attached to it. She added that the borders of Kuwait with Iraq should have been settled when Britain had decided to grant Iraq independence from the British mandate and got entry into the League of Nations in 1932.

At that time, Britain saw that Iraq had to resolve the border problems with Kuwait and exchanged many memoranda between representatives of Britain in Iraq and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber and Nuri Al-Said. These mutual memoranda are the same as those approved by Kuwait and Iraq in 1963, after the overthrow of Abdul Karim Qasim, signed by Ahmad Hassan Al-Bakr, Prime Minister of Iraq, and the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem, Crown Prince of Kuwait and Prime Minister in which Iraq recognized Kuwait’s independence within its borders, which were included in the two memoranda exchanged between Iraq and Kuwait in 1932. For further information, please refer to the references above.

We conclude this article with a request to the Iraqi ambassador to Kuwait to delete the term ‘Iraqi invasion’ from the curriculum and replace it with the term ‘Saddam’s invasion’. It is supposed here that the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister would have reminded him of these agreements, and how for more than 85 years the curricula of Iraq have not mentioned them, otherwise, our border, sovereignty, and even psychological status with Iraq would have been different.

e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

 

 

 

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