Sep 7 2013
By Khaula al-Ukaili
Azzaman, September 7, 2013
Iraq Port Authority says it is unhappy with a maritime deal the government has signed with neighboring Kuwait.
The government signed an agreement to delineate maritime borders between Iraq and Kuwait but the authority says it makes movement of ships on the Iraqi side more difficult.
When the agreement was sent to the parliament for approval, the government marketed it as a success that restored Iraqi rights neglected under previous deals.
But the authority’s Director-General Omran Radhi told Azzaman that the agreement once implemented it will restrict Iraqi maritime activities and impact negatively on movement of ships at the head of the Gulf.
Iraq has a small strip of maritime border at the head of the Gulf where it has its major ports.
But the Kuwaitis, taking advantage of the re-drawn borders after the 1991 Gulf War, had expanded their territorial waters.
Kuwait is currently constructing a gigantic port that will stretch into what was previously Iraqi territory.
The U.N. Security Council removed Iraq from Chapter Seven, signaling that Iraq and Kuwait have settled their differences emanating from the country’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The removal from Chapter Seven means Kuwait would stop pursuing any case against Iraq related to the invasion.
But Radhi said he had nothing to do with the “political aspect of the agreement” as his remarks were purely technical.
“Iraq Port Authority’s duties are not political. What I am saying is that the agreement restricts maritime activities of the country,” he said.
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