(AFP, KUWAIT CITY) - Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah is to visit Iran on July 24 for talks on demarcating a maritime area rich in gas and oil, the emirate's foreign minister said Monday.
"This issue (border demarcation) will be part of talks with his Iranian counterpart," Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said, quoted in Al-Watan newspaper.
The announcement came two weeks after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement to demarcate their maritime border.
Sheikh Sabah expressed hope the talks would succeed in resolving the border dispute in the continental shelf which includes the Dorra gas field, estimated to contain three to five percent of the world's known gas reserves.
The foreign minister expressed his appreciation to Iran for halting its drilling in the disputed field ahead of the Kuwaiti-Saudi accord.
Tehran said May 13 that it had stopped drilling at the Dorra field and hoped the border dispute would soon be resolved.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi has since told a Saudi newspaper that Tehran was ready for direct talks with Kuwait to resolve the dispute over Dorra and that there were no "fundamental differences."
Sheikh Sabah said earlier this month that some of the talks would be three-way, involving Saudi Arabia, while another part of the negotiations would be just between Kuwait and Iran.
Kuwait's parliament last week unanimously approved the July 2 border accord with Saudi Arabia, which gave the emirate control over its islands and divides the resources equally between the two Gulf Arab allies.
An understanding between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was seen as essential for sea border demarcation with Iran.
© Agence France-Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )