Baghdad: Kuwait of threatening Gulf trade traffic
Baghdad accused Kuwait Friday of threatening trade traffic in the Gulf in the wake of the Kuwaiti coastguard seizure of five boats suspected of breaking the embargo in force against Iraq since 1990.
"The rulers of Kuwait have given themselves the right to play the role of American and Zionist police, threatening the freedom of navigation in the Gulf. They have not yet realized the seriousness of their action. They must stop playing with fire," a spokesman for the Iraqi culture and information ministry said, according to the INA agency.
"These irresponsible actions confirm the obstinacy of the Kuwaiti regime in pursuing its aggressive and criminal policy towards Iraq and its violation of international conventions," the spokesman added.
The Kuwaiti interior ministry said Thursday the Kuwaiti coastguard had seized five wooden boats in Kuwait's territorial waters, without saying where they were heading. It said they were carrying 872 tons of Iraqi dates, 520 goats and 400 sheep, with a crew of 51.
Kuwait periodically announces the seizure of Iraqi boats in the Gulf carrying goods in violation of the embargo imposed on Iraq since its occupation of Kuwait in 1990. These boats and the goods they are carrying are normally sold off at auction. Their crews are deported from the emirate after paying a fine. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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