Saudi and Qatar End 35-Year Border Dispute, Sign Accord

Published March 21st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Qatar signed a final border agreement with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a 35-year-old territorial conflict in the second such settlement in a week for the Gulf peninsula state, reported AFP. 

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has reported the agreement saying that Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal left Doha Wednesday afternoon after the signing of the agreement with his counterpart Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.  

Both minister signed the 15 maps and documents included in the agreement over 60 kilometers (40 miles) of sea and land borders between the two countries, said the agencies. 

"With the signing of this agreement, all border conflicts between countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are settled," Prince Saud was quoted by AFP as telling reporters after the ceremony. "After settling our territorial conflict with Bahrain, we are proud of our relations with Saudi Arabia," his Qatari counterpart said. 

Amid a long dispute over an unpublished 1965 border accord, Qatar and Saudi Arabia clashed in 1992 when Saudi troops occupied a Qatari border post before Egypt mediated to end the dispute. Doha said three of its soldiers were killed. 

Riyadh and Doha in June 1999 signed maps marking a joint border, which were drawn up by a joint technical committee. Since then, a French company has delineated the land and sea borders, a source close to the signatories told AFP. 

Bedouin tribes live in the border area and frequently pass between the two countries. 

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz announced on Sunday that the "the delineation of borders with Qatar has been completed and Saudi and Qatari experts have signed documents on it," Prince Nayef said, quoted by the official SPA news agency.  

Qatar on Friday settled a 60-year-old territorial dispute with Bahrain when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) attributed Hawar Island and Qitat Jarada island to Bahrain, while the Zubara strip, Fasht al-Dibel rocks and Jinan island went to Qatar -  



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