Iraq Contests Maritime Border Accord between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
Iraq contested Tuesday the accord between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia that maps out their maritime border in the Gulf, saying it did not take into consideration Baghdad's "legitimate interests."
"Any delimitation of maritime borders that does not take into consideration Iraq's legitimate interests conforming to international law and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea is not legally binding and is not recognized by Iraq," the official IRNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
The spokesman did not elaborate on what "legitimate interests" had not been taken into account.
Noting that the accord would open the door for negotiations between Iran and Kuwait on their maritime borders, the spokesman said Baghdad should have its say in talks as a neighbor and fellow Gulf country.
Iraq has limited access to the Gulf's waters, an issue over which it has long been in dispute with Kuwait.
With only a short coastline on the Gulf it has long argued that it was deprived of its rights as a Gulf state by the former British colonial power when drawing up borders.
Before it invaded Kuwait in 1990, Iraq had demanded that Kuwait lease some of its islands to Iraq.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on July 2nd, covering a maritime border that runs through an area of the northern Gulf rich in oil and gas, to which Iran also has a claim.
The border accord with Riyadh gives Kuwait full control over all its islands in the Gulf and stipulates that the new maritime border will be 1.25 nautical miles south of Kuwait's southernmost island, Umm Al-Maradem.
Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said on Sunday he expects no obstacle in striking a similar deal with Iran. The emirate's oil minister, Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, is due in Tehran on July 24th for border talks - BAGHDAD (AFP)
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