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Kuwait dismisses Iraq border protest

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 4, (Agencies): Kuwait Tuesday dismissed Iraqi objections that a platform installed within Kuwait’s territorial waters would affect demarcation of maritime borders beyond maritime border sign No. 162, affirming the country was exercising full sovereignty.

A Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry source was reacting a reported Iraqi memorandum submitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to protest Kuwait’s installation of a platform over Fisht Al-Eij, a piece of land located within Kuwait’s territorial water, claiming it would undermine demarcation of maritime borders beyond sign No. 162. The source, in a statement to KUNA, said Kuwait received the Iraqi memo and responded to it immediately.

The source said Kuwait’s territorial waters were specified by a decree issued on Dec 17, 1967, and updated on Oct 19, 2014. The decree was in compliance with UN treaty on law of seas of 1982. He said Fisht Al-Eid was a natural piece of land over the sea level and was located within Kuwait’s territorial waters.

“Therefore, the installation of the platform is a sovereign right for the State of Kuwait within its territories and territorial waters,” affirmed the source. The platform installed in Khor (inlet) Abdullah for security purposes, said the source, and Iraq has been informed about it.

An official letter informing the Baghdad government was sent to the Iraqi embassy in Kuwait on Feb 8, 2017. Kuwait answered memos sent by Iraq on Sept 5, 2017 and Sept 12, 2018, in which Baghdad urged Kuwait to delay the installation of the platform until after installation of maritime border signs beyond sign No. 162.

The source said the Kuwaiti position was included in two memos sent from Kuwait Embassy in Baghdad to the Iraqi foreign ministry on July 26, 2017 and on Sept 26, 2018, affirming Kuwait was exercising its sovereignty.

The foreign ministry source said State of Kuwait has been requesting Iraq since to start maritime border demarcation negotiations ever since 2005. “The State of Kuwait called on the brothers in Iraq to end this issue through international maritime arbitation in line with the UN treat on law of sea of 1982,” he said.

Kuwait, he said, would continue coordination with Iraq to address all outstanding issues “in order to prevent distortion of relations.” The Undersecretary of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hazem Al- Yousifihas denied there is any issue between Kuwait and Iraq concerning the maritime border. He said this should not be a hindrance or a problem in relations and instead lavished praise on these relations stressing they are at their best given the significant development in all fields.

In an interview with the Annahar daily during his visit to the country to hand over an archive of 42,000 books found recently (and believed to have been stolen during the invasion of Kuwait), he said that there is the will between the two countries to overcome the mistakes of the past, and everything that happened during Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, pointing out that the invasion was an exceptional event in the history of the two brothers.

The Iraqi official praised the Kuwaiti support for his country and the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad to Baghdad, which gave a strong impetus to the development of relations.

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