Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Naser al-Subah, have been talking directly by telephone to try to prevent a diplomatic crisis from worsening.
A spokesperson for Maliki said on Monday that Kuwait had shown “more flexibility” in ongoing discussions over a new Kuwaiti port.
Mubarak Port, due to be completed in 2016, has caused a huge storm to build between the two countries because it is believed by many that it will devastate Iraq’s maritime economy.
The Iraqi government wants Kuwait to pause the construction until it can be established that the port will not affect Iraqi interests. Kuwait has said that the building work cannot be put on hold.
The tensions have become so serious that there is now talk of war. This is a continuation of border disputes between the two countries lasting half a century, according to the Tehran Times.
However, Iraqi MP Ameer al-Kinani said that Kuwait will not go through with the port, because their neighbour’s economic interests will not be affected. Kuwait already has three ports to Iraq’s one deep-water port of Umm Qasr.
(Source: Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office; Aknews; Aswat al-Iraq; Tehran Times)