Iraq urges UN to stop Kuwait from '\'stealing'\' oil from joint deposits
Iraq has urged the United Nations to intervene to stop what it called ongoing attempts by Kuwait to steal oil from jointly owned deposits inside a UN-monitored demilitarized zone on the border, the official INA news agency reported Wednesday, December 12.
"The United Nations must intervene and ask Kuwait to stop unilaterally exploiting joint border oilfields," Iraq's UN ambassador, Mohammad Al-Duri, said in a letter to Secretary General Kofi Annan cited by INA. The UN Security Council "must shoulder its responsibilities and bring an end to Kuwait's systematic plunder of Iraq's oil resources," Duri said, adding that Baghdad reserved the right to claim compensation for its losses.
Iraq regularly accuses Kuwait of pumping oil from the demilitarized zone set up by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War that evicted Iraqi occupation forces, a charge the emirate categorically denies. Iraqi forces occupied Kuwait for seven months between 1990 and 1991 before their ouster by a US-led international coalition.
In a letter to Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa on September 20, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri accused Kuwait of "pumping disproportionate amounts of oil from the Ratka oilfield" on the border between the two countries. Sabri urged Kuwait to stop British and US firms contracted since 1993 to run the emirate's Rumaila-South and Zubeir fields from pursuing the "intensive activities they have undertaken in the two border zones since 1995."
A UN oil-for-food program launched in 1996 allows Baghdad, which has been under sanctions since invading Kuwait, to export crude to pay for imports of humanitarian supplies, war reparations and UN operations in Iraq. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)