Iraq May Refer Kuwait’s New Port to UN

Al-Iraqiya television has reported that Iraq is threatening to take the case of Kuwait’s Mubarak al-Kabir Port to the United Nations if the harbour violates its maritime rights.

An Iraqi Technical Delegation, led by the government’s Advisor, Thamer al-Ghadban, reportedly arrived in Kuwait on Sunday for a 2-day official visit.

Bloomberg reports that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an interview with Al Sumeria television, has officially requested that its neighbour halts construction until the end of Iraq’s investigation.

The port on Bubiyan Island has exacerbated tensions which persist since Iraq under former President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Iraq still pays 5 percent of its oil revenue to Kuwait as compensation, and Kuwait continues to demand payments on debt and more reparations.

Baghdad claims the mammoth port, once completed, will strangle its shipping lanes in the narrow Khor Abdullah waterway that serves as its entrance to the Gulf, through which the vast majority of its oil exports flow. Kuwait denies the charge.

Iraq has yet to implement plans to build the Grand Faw port in Basra, which is intended to spur economic activity and become a gateway for Gulf products going to Turkey and Europe.

(Sources: Bloomberg, Al-Iraqiya, Aswat al-Iraq, AFP)

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