Kuwait, Saudi call for Iraq Khor compliance

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 31, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have renewed their call on neighboring Iraq to adhere to the agreement signed with Kuwait in 2012 on regulating the navigation in Khor Abdullah waterway. This came in a joint statement issued after His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah’s visit to the Kingdom on Tuesday and his talks with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and Crown Prince and Prince Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud. The two sides noted that the Khor Abdullah agreement entered into force on December 5, 2013 after its ratification by both countries and was jointly deposited with the United Nations on December 18, 2013.

They also rejected Iraq’s unilaterally cancelling of the security exchange protocol hammered out between Kuwait and Iraq in 2008 and its endorsed map signed between Kuwait and Iraq on December 28, 2014, which included a clear and specific mechanism for their amendment and cancellation. The two sides reiterated support for the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2107 (2013), which requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to enhance and facilitate search for and determining the fate of missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals or restoring the framework of the Tripartite Committee and its technical subcommittee, under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross and returning the seized Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

They urged the UN Security Council to continue following up on these important issues and the UN Secretary General to present regular report on the achieved progress and UNAMI efforts in this regard by paragraph four of the aforementioned UN Security Council Resolution and called on Iraq and the United Nations. The two sides reaffirmed what was stated in a previous joint statement that Durra field is located entirely in Kuwait’s exclusive maritime areas and that the natural resources in the divided submerged area, including the entire Durra field, are shared between the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only, and they have full exclusive rights to exploit them. They expressed categorical rejection of any claims of rights for any other party in this field or the divided submerged area. The two sides renewed call for the Islamic Republic of Iran to negotiate over the eastern border for the divided submerged area with the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as one party following the provisions of international law. The joint statement also noted that the talks focused on boosting economic, commercial and investment cooperation.

In this regard, the two sides praised the growth of trade relations and mutual investments. They pointed out that the bilateral trade exchange reached KD 900 million (USD 2.92 billion) in 2022 and KD 490 million (USD 1.59 billion) in the first seven months of 2023. They stressed the importance of expanding economic cooperation and partnership, achieving economic integration through the opportunities available in the two countries as part of the Kuwait Vision 2035 and the Kingdom Vision 2030. They agreed on facilitating Saudi investments in Kuwait in several targeted sectors, including industry, communications, logistics, financial technology, infrastructure, and real estate development. The Saudi side invited Kuwaiti investors and companies to expand their businesses in the Kingdom and take advantage of the available investment opportunities. The two sides expressed their aspiration to sign an agreement on avoiding double taxation. They said they are looking forward to holding the second session of the Kuwaiti-Saudi Coordination Council, scheduled to be held this year in Kuwait, and to work on implementing the agreed upon initiatives.

The two sides welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding in the field of cybersecurity between the two countries and stressed the importance of continuing to strengthen cooperation in this field. They hailed the signing of an agreement on a railway project to link the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will help enhance trade exchange and economic cooperation between the two countries. They commended their energy cooperation and the successful efforts of the OPEC+ countries in maintain the stability of global oil markets. They called for continuing this cooperation and urged all participating countries to adhere to the OPEC+ agreement in a way that serves the interests of producers and consumers and supports the growth of the global economy. They agreed to enhance cooperation in oil and gas and their derivatives, hydrocarbon resources, clean technologies, and execution of projects to ensure the sustainability of global energy supplies.

About climate change, the two sides agreed to increase cooperation in implementing international climate policies that focus on emissions, rather than fuel sources, by applying the circular economy approach of reducing, reusing, recycling, and removing carbon from the environment to address carbon emissions in an economically sustainable manner and reach carbon neutrality. They called for cooperation and exchange of expertise related to the latest technologies of hydrogen transportation and storage. The two sides expressed their desire to maximize local content in energy sector projects through incentivizing innovation and applying emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, in the energy sector. They concurred on upgrading cooperation in a wide array of domains including: communications, technology, digital economy, innovation and space; judiciary and justice; healthcare; air, land and rail transport, ports, logistics services and civil aviation; culture and tourism, sports, higher education and scientific research and media. They also agreed on enhancing cooperation in energy efficiency; electricity and renewable energy production and usage; marine environment projection; trade exchange; and finance, particularly about implementing financial reforms, diversifying sources of income, enhancing the efficiency and transparency of public finance, and joint coordination on regional and international financial issues. They agreed to intensify cooperation to reach industrial integration in priority sectors and to discuss ways of cooperation between financial institutions in the two countries to provide credit facilities for non-oil goods and products to enhance trade exchange. On the defense and security side, the two sides affirmed their keenness to strengthen defense cooperation in all fields and develop strategic relations and partnerships to protect the security and stability of the two countries and the region.

They admired the existing level of cooperation and security coordination between the two countries and affirmed their desire to boost cooperation in combating crimes – especially drugs trafficking and dealing; border security; extremism, hate speeches and terrorism; spreading a culture of moderation and tolerance to achieve security and stability in the two brotherly countries. The two sides welcomed the cooperation between the Public Authority for Industry in the State of Kuwait and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization. They discussed developments in the Palestinian territories and expressed their deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip due to the brutal Israeli occupation’s war claimed the lives of thousands of defenseless civilians, including children, women and the elderly, and destroyed vital facilities, places of worship and infrastructure.

They stressed the necessity of stopping military operations in the Palestinian territories and protecting civilians under international law and international humanitarian law. They emphasized that the international community must play its role in putting an end to the violations of Israel, the occupying power, and putting pressure on it to stop its aggression and prevent attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, which is a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law and international laws. The two sides underlined the need to enable international humanitarian organizations to carry out their missions in providing humanitarian and relief aid to the Palestinian people. They called for intensifying efforts to reach a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian cause per the principle of the twostate solution, the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant UN resolutions in a way that guarantees the Palestinian people’s right to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. In this regard, Kuwait appreciated the Kingdom’s hosting of the extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh delivered a unified position of the Arab and Islamic countries towards the current events in Palestine.

Kuwait also extolled the Kingdom’s efforts to implement the summit’s resolutions and its chairmanship of the Arab and Islamic ministerial committee which tour the world to rally international support to the call to end the Israeli aggression against Gaza and to press for the launching of a serious political process to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace in Palestine. The two sides welcomed the International Court of Justice demand on January 26, for the Israeli occupation to take all measures stipulated in the Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide to prevent a genocide against the Palestinian People. On the Yemeni issue, they reiterated their full backing to international and regional efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis. The Kuwaiti side lauded the Kingdom’s efforts and its many initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue and reconciliation between the Yemeni parties and the role of the two countries in providing humanitarian aid and the Kingdom’s facilitation of delivering that aid to various regions of Yemen.

On navigation in the Red Sea, the two sides underscored the importance of maintaining the security and stability of the Red Sea region and respecting the right to safe maritime navigation therein by the provisions of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 to preserve the interests of the entire world. They called for restraint and avoiding escalation in light of the highcharged situation in the region. On the Sudanese issue, the two sides called for preserving the unity, sovereignty and independence of Sudan and rejected any interference in its internal affairs. They welcomed commitment of the parties of the conflict to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid and confidence-building measures to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities to alleviate suffering of the Sudanese people.

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