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The danger lurking behind the borders.. An American report calls on Baghdad and Kuwait to settle their “historic” disputes
Posted On 2023-09-06 By Sotaliraq A report published in an American magazine called on Iraq and Kuwait to reach a solution to their border dispute, and between the need to prevent future conflicts between the two countries, he stressed that one of the most prominent obstacles to this solution is Iraqi instability, Iranian interference, and the growth of the Mobilization Forces.
The report, which was published in the American magazine “The National Interest,” recalled “Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Salem Al-Sabah’s decisive visit to Baghdad, and his talks with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein and Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani on July 30, which were aimed at dealing urgently with the conflict.” The long-term maritime border around the Khor Abdullah waterway, which is a major source of contention between Iraq and Kuwait.
The report pointed out that “the visit bore a special importance due to its coincidence with the anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, which still echoes in the memory of the region, in addition to that it comes in the context of profound transformations in the internal power in Iraq, which tended towards the Shiite forces.”
The report indicated, “The importance of following up the repercussions of these developments on regional stability, given that they could affect the geopolitical scene in the future.” A constructive and lasting solution for Iraq and Kuwait.
However, the report stated that “the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait extends back centuries,” noting that “the conflicts that were taking place, the interventions of colonial powers, and the competition between the great powers, left their effects on the current borders between the two countries, even before the discovery of oil.”
The report continued, saying that “despite the signing of agreements and Baghdad’s recognition of Kuwait in the past, the various Iraqi governments, whether during the era of the Hashemite Kingdom or the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, did not give up their claims to parts of Kuwaiti lands,” adding that “the Iraqi claim to Kuwait, which ranged from Between full and partial control over this country, it was often linked to political stability in Baghdad, so that whenever Baghdad was politically stable, it would escalate its demands for Kuwait, and refuse to demarcate borders, which leads to more problems for Kuwait.
The report added that “Iraq tried in the past to use various methods to force Kuwait to a settlement, such as appointing the Sheikh of Kuwait as deputy governor of one of its provinces, incursions into Kuwaiti lands, deploying forces in the Bubiyan Islands, or pressuring Kuwait to concede the Bubiyan, Warba and Failaka islands under security and commercial pretexts.”
He pointed out that Kuwait, which wanted peace, had agreed to some of Iraq’s demands, including allowing Iraqi forces to be stationed on Kuwaiti islands to confront Iranian aggression, and it had provided great financial and political support to Iraq in the hope of preventing military actions against it.
And after the report drew attention to “Saddam Hussein’s invasion on August 2, 1990, and then the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait,” he explained that “Kuwait and Iraq signed several agreements, under the supervision of the United Nations, to demarcate their land borders, indicating that great progress has been made in Determining most of the land borders, but the maritime borders are still not drawn, adding that resolving this dispute was the main goal behind the visit of the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister to Baghdad recently.
The report stated that “at the heart of this dispute lies the mouth of Khawr Abd Allah, which has strategic importance, because it is considered a vital passage for about 80% of Iraq’s imports and exports.”
Although the report indicated that “Baghdad and Kuwait have reached, since 2003, various agreements to settle this dispute, including maritime cooperation and security measures to protect the region, it pointed out that implementation by Baghdad was often slow, affected by commercial considerations and geopolitical factors.” .
Also, “the report warned that the dispute between Iraq and Kuwait may drag on for years to come,” explaining that “Iraq aims to complete the large port of Faw by 2028, which is expected to be the largest in the Middle East, a project that could produce a revolution in the economic scene in Iraq, It secures unhindered access to the sea and reduces reliance on existing roads and resources.
He added that it is unlikely that the large port of Faw will significantly change the view of the Iraqi political elite regarding Khawr Abdullah.
The report stated that “as part of the attempt to resolve the conflict, the Iraqi government initiated the establishment of a high-level committee responsible for overseeing a sub-committee dedicated to searching for mutually acceptable solutions to issues related to borders and other existing disputes between Iraq and Kuwait, but the Iraqi government’s approach to settling these issues was not
So far, it has received unanimous support,” noting that “the visit of the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, which was aimed at addressing the issue of border demarcation, quickly turned into a hot political and popular issue inside Iraq, and part of the opposition emerged due to misunderstanding and exploitation by populist politicians seeking to advance They see themselves as hardline patriots with the aim of reaping political gains, especially in light of the provincial elections scheduled for November 2023.”
Accordingly, “these populists falsely accused the Iraqi government of treason and ceding Iraqi lands to Kuwait, which does not correspond to reality.”
The report added, “Nevertheless, these attitudes gained momentum inside Iraq, as citizens, tribal leaders, and politicians from Sunni and Shiite backgrounds accused the Sudanese government of giving up Iraqi lands, which gained great attention on social media, including the refusal of neighborhood residents to propose their transfer.” And a reminder on the part of the Iraqis of Kuwait’s role in the ruin of Iraq, the theft of oil and aiding the 2003 invasion.”
In addition, “protests took place in Basra against concessions linked to the Khawr Abd Allah and Umm al-Qasr canals, and some people fired at the border in defiance of any agreement recognizing Kuwait’s authority over Khawr Abd Allah, in light of accusations also by the clans against Kuwait of seizing the lands and displacement.
The report considered that “these events confirm a crucial fact represented by the overlapping of intense feelings with the border issue, and that mishandling it can lead to instability.”
And after the report pointed to “the formation of a committee in the Iraqi parliament to follow up on the progress of the government’s negotiations with Kuwait, and to the government spokesman’s denial of the idea of a concession to Kuwait, describing what is happening as part of (political blackmail),” the Al-Awadi spokesman was quoted as saying that “the government’s positions are compatible with The 1993 agreement approved by the United Nations between Iraq and Kuwait,” stressing that “the previous Iraqi administrations also remained committed to respecting the terms of the agreement.”
In addition, the report talked about “the resurgence of latent tensions on the borders,” noting that “Shiite militias in Iraq have often threatened Kuwait, describing it as a historical part of Iraq, and now the issue related to the demarcation of the borders of Khawr Abdullah has intensified. These allegations, even a deputy from the Al-Fateh Alliance (Alaa Al-Haidari) accused Kuwait of attacking Iraqi fishermen in Khor Abdullah, calling on the Popular Mobilization Forces to deploy their forces in Khor Abdullah to protect them.
The report warned that “in light of the continuation of the unresolved border conflict, the situation with regard to Kuwait may deteriorate in the coming years,” noting that “doubling Iraq’s budget allocated to the popular crowd and increasing the number of its members constitutes a threat to Kuwait,” noting that “the underlying tensions surrounding the region The disputed issue is clear, which raises concerns regarding possible escalation in the future.”
Therefore, the report considered, “It is important for the two countries to actively try to reach a peaceful solution and prevent further tensions and regional instability, adding that a clear demarcation of land and sea borders is necessary to reduce the risks of future conflicts.”
Effects On The United States
After the report mentioned Kuwait’s important role in the US’s relations with regional developments, he said that unresolved historical and border disputes could attract Washington to diplomatic efforts.
In addition, the report dealt with the tension between Kuwait and Iran over the offshore gas fields known as “Arash” in Iran and “Durra” in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, adding that “Tehran can exploit the ongoing border dispute between Kuwait and Iraq to advance its own interests.”
“By benefiting from the marked decline in US influence, Iran has taken a more assertive regional stance,” the report said. He added that in light of the great political and military influence exercised by Iran by proxy in Iraq, the great security concerns for Kuwait looming on the horizon, including the possible role of the popular crowd, constitute worrisome scenarios.
“This could cause the United States to become embroiled in another conflict in the Middle East, diverting resources and attention from other critical strategic priorities, including managing the ongoing rivalry with China and Russia,” he added.
Therefore, the report says, “A settlement of the long-running border dispute between Baghdad and Kuwait could undermine the influence of Tehran and its proxies while contributing to regional stability, allowing the United States to determine its most important priorities.”
The report concluded by saying that “in a region characterized by historical conflicts, changing power dynamics, and the evolving political scene, the settlement of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border issue constitutes a vital pillar of stability,” and pointed to “past experiences that emphasize the dangers of leaving regional conflicts without solutions.”
For this, the National Interest report suggests the need for “transparent communication and engagement with all parties, in order to formulate a way forward and reduce chauvinism on both sides of the border.” He added, “It is important for Washington to continue its diplomatic efforts to settle the issue of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border, and thus contribute to lasting peace and security in the region.” LINK
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Points to Ponder From Aristotle:
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions.