Iraq and Kuwait forged a pact to put an end to the lingering disputes dating back to Saddam Hussein’s devastating invasion of Kuwait thirty years ago. At their meeting in Baghdad, the two nations agreed upon measures to draw a maritime border demarcation and explore joint oilfields as part of a bold effort to reestablish friendly relations.
"We met today with determination to address our differences and protect our ties," Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein declared at a press conference alongside Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah. To that end, a technical-legal committee will convene on August 14 to tackle the boundary dispute, while Kuwaiti Oil Minister Saad Al Barrak is set to visit Baghdad on September 10 to delve into potential oil collaborations.
"The UN demarcated the land border between the two neighbors after the Iraqi army was pushed out of Kuwait. But the maritime boundary was left for the two sides to resolve."
The heated negotiations concerning the sensitive maritime border issue sparked an intense debate between Iraq and Kuwait, as both sides pushed for their own vested interests.
With tempers in check this time, a supreme committee was formed to take charge of the discussions and its affiliated subcommittees. Sheikh Salem lauded the efforts of both countries in striving towards resolving the problem, with the determination to reach “new horizons” in their bilateral relations.
But over twenty years since Saddam's overthrow and the UN demarcation of the land border between Iraq and Kuwait, talk of progress in settling the marine boundary has been nothing but fruitless. Iraqi fishermen have thus endured the wrath of their Kuwaiti counterparts as they refuse to honor the boundaries set out by law, particularly in Khor Abdullah, which separates the two nations.
The Grand Port of Al Faw on Khor Abdullah roars to life, signaling the dawning of Iraq's most daring venture yet - a connection between Asia and Europe through rail and road networks that traverse Turkey.
Amidst heated discussions regarding missing Kuwaiti nationals and Basra properties, the Kuwaiti minister opened up an attache office at the Kuwaiti consulate to foster trade between the two nations.
In the presence of Iraqi Minister of Transport Razzaq Al Saadawi and Basra Governor Asaad Al Eidani, alongside representatives from the Oil Ministry, Iraq made its stance clear: it was determined to establish healthy ties between itself and Kuwait despite a long-standing maritime border dispute with Iran over Al Durra offshore gasfield in the Arabian Gulf.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia aggressively asserted their “exclusive rights” to Al Durra, demanding that Iran validate its claim by demarcating its maritime borders. Iran's claims were met with hostility as they denounced the Kuwaiti-Saudi agreement signed last year to develop the field as “illegal” and a violation of international law.