Saudi Arabia Expropriates Iraqi Oil Pipeline
Saudi Arabia told the UN in a letter released Monday that it had expropriated a pipeline built to carry Iraqi crude oil across Saudi territory, reported AFP.
Saudi Arabia disconnected the pipeline after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, and it has not been used since then.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Fawzi bin Abdul Majeed Shobokshi, said Iraq's threats of aggression had "destroyed any rationale" for maintaining the pipeline.
The pipeline, "including the pipes themselves, the pumping stations, the storage tanks, the maritime terminal at Mu'jiz, the communications system and the loading facilities, will revert in its entirety to the government of Saudi Arabia with effect from the date of this letter," he wrote.
The letter was dated June 4 and released Monday, AFP said.
Shobokshi said "the just compensation due to the government of Iraq" for the expropriation should be deducted from Saudi Arabia's claims against Iraq for damages resulting from the invasion of Kuwait.
A total of more than 876 million barrels of oil were moved through the pipeline, of which 678 million had been pumped from Iraq.
The Saudi decision came only one week after the kingdom alleged in a complaint to the United Nations that Iraq launched an attack on its border last month. But Iraq rejected the accusations.
Shobokshi had said that an Iraqi patrol crossed the border May 23 and traveled about 400 meters (yards) into Uwayqilah in Saudi territory, opening fire on the border patrol.
The Saudi troops retaliated, and in the exchange of fire "a number of Saudi soldiers were wounded," he told the UN.
"An Iraqi soldier found wounded was hospitalized and died a short time later of his injuries."
Baghdad regularly accuses Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of violating Iraq's borders by providing bases for US and British warplanes that enforce flight bans in the north and south of the country - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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