Tag Archive | "Bubiyan"

Cancellation of 4th Phase of Mubarak Port Welcomed

By John Lee.

The Kuwaiti government has announced the cancellation of the fourth stage of the Mubarak Port, reports AKnews, due to harm to Iraqi navigation.

Iraq’s Ministry of Transport called it an important step, but it does not eliminate the damage to Iraqi navigation.

An adviser to the ministry, Karim al-Nouri, said: “We consider stopping the fourth stage as goodwill and we hope that it will contribute to resolving the rest of outstanding issues with Kuwait.

Kuwait laid the foundation stone for the new giant port on Bubiyan island in April last year.

(Source: AKnews)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, TransportationComments Off

Min. of Transport: “We’ll Stop Iranian Planes”

Iraq’s Minister of Transport Hadi al-Amiri (pictured) talks to NIQASH about Iraq’s role in alleged Iranian weapons smuggling into Syria as well US spy drones over Iraq monitoring Iranian activities. “It’s a lie,” al-Amiri says.

Al-Amiri also talks about how a recent visit to Iraq’s neighbour, Kuwait, could see Iraqi Airways flying again. And he clarifies what really went on when the group he heads, the formerly militant Badr Organization, split from the Islamic Supreme Council last week – the move caused ripples in Iraqi political circles where usually, the sect that votes together, rules together.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

NIQASH: This week at the United Nations, officials from the United States and Britain accused Iran of shipping weapons to Syria – weapons that are being used by the Syrian government against their own people. And they say the weapons are travelling through Iraqi airspace to get to Iran. What do you think?

Hadi Al-Amiri:  It’s a lie. If weapons were being transported, we would have been informed. Some time ago, weapons heading for the United Arab Emirates went through Iraq; we were informed about that, we gave our permission and the shipment went through. That’s how things should be done.

Now the US claims that Iran is transporting weapons to Syria through the Iraqi air space.  This is just another part of the way the US lies and spreads propaganda. Yes, there are flights from Iran to Syria passing over Iraq – but there are also flights heading to Jordan, and to Europe. Thousands of plans use Iraqi air space every month. Some just fly over, others land here. There’s no country in the world that forces all flights passing overhead to land so that their cargo can be inspected!

NIQASH: So you’re saying that Iraqi officials wouldn’t even know if weapons were actually being transported through their airspace?

Al-Amiri: If there is any doubt about this, we won’t give an air craft permission to use our airspace.  The Americans told us that there were weapons being transported through our airspace so we asked them to provide us with evidence of this. We also contacted the Iranians and told them that we don’t allow weapons transported through our airspace. We also said that if we get any evidence that indicates that this is happening, we’ll stop Iranian planes flying through our airspace.

Additionally Iran would be shipping US-made weapons – that’s what they have. And the Syrian regime has Russian-made weapons. The only people in Syria using US-made weapons are the Syrian [anti-Assad regime] revolutionaries and they’re getting these from Turkey.

I’d also like to point out that Iran can ship far more weapons to Syria by sea – ten times more, in fact. So why would it be using our air space?

Posted in Industry & Trade, Politics, Security, TransportationComments Off

Gulf States Support Kuwait on Mubarak Port

The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council said they support Kuwait in its dispute with Baghdad over the construction of the Mubarak port.

The leaders declared at the conclusion of their regular summit in Riyadh that Mubarak port will ve established on Kuwaiti land and within its territorial waters as per the borders drawn by U.N. resolutions, the Kuwaiti News Agency reported.

Iraqi experts believe the port will reduce trade traffic through Iraqi ports and thus affect Iraqi commercial interest, but this was rejected by Kuwait.

Kuwait has already begun work on the Mubarak port on Bubiyan Island, in the far north-west of the Arabian Gulf.

Iraq threatened to take the issue to the U.N. if the port caused economic damage.

(Source: AKnews)

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Iraqis Fear Impact of New Kuwait Port

This article was written by Ahmad Wahid, and was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, iwpr.net. It is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Thousands of Iraqis working across five ports in Basra fear they will lose their livelihoods if Kuwait presses ahead with plans to build one of the Gulf’s biggest harbours.

There are worries that once the 1.1 billion US dollar Mubarak port is completed, Iraq stands to lose up to 60 per cent of maritime traffic – mostly the larger cargo ships that already struggle to dock in Basra’s Umm Qasr, the country’s only deep-water port.

Work has started on a new port at Al-Faw close to Umm Qasr, but in May this year, the Kuwaitis began construction of the Mubarak port just over the border from the site.

The close proximity of the two developments has angered Iraqi politicians, workers and tribal leaders, who have pledged action against the Kuwaiti government.

Iraq’s transport ministry announced the 1.6 billion dollar port project for Al-Faw in 2005, with an Italian construction firm winning the contract to build the facility. Construction only got under way in 2010, with the first stage of the development planned to be complete by 2014.

The finished project, with total costs estimated to reach six billion dollars by the completion date of 2028, includes not only the port itself but infrastructure such as train lines linking Europe to the Gulf.

Iraqis say that once the new port opens, they will be as hard-hit economically as when the country was subject to sanctions in the 1990s because of the invasion of Kuwait.

Posted in Industry & Trade, Politics, TransportationComments Off

Foreign Minister Zebari Denies Kuwaiti Bribes

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari denied allegations that he or his ministry had been bribed by Kuwait in order to settle the dispute over Kuwait’s new Mubarak Port, according to a report from AKnews.

Although Zebari stated that these allegations would not deserve a response, he labeled the allegations as “fabricated” and “defamatory”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not engaged in bribery,” he said. “And we began proceedings today to prosecute every person who says that.”

Zebari added that the Mubarak Port was not discussed when an Iraqi delegation recently visited Kuwait. Allegedly, the talks had just been over “other outstanding issues with Kuwait,” said Zebari.

The parliamentary Integrity Committee had revealed on Sunday that it had information that the technical delegation from the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs that visited Kuwait to examine the construction of Mubarak Port received gifts from Kuwait.

In early September, the Minister was quoted as saying that the dispute with Kuwait was resolved.

(Sources: AKnews, Al Sumaria News)

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Dr Ali al-Dabbagh Speaks with Iraq Business News

Minister Ali al-Dabbagh, Iraqi Government Spokesman, was interviewed by Padraig O’Hannelly for Iraq Business News at last week’s Iraq Mining 2011 conference in London. In this first part of the interview, Dr al-Dabbagh discusses the controversial Mubarak port:

Iraq Business News: Firstly, Dr Ali al-Dabbagh, thank you for agreeing to speak to us. I’d like to start with a question regarding the Mubarak al-Kabir [Kabeer] port project in Kuwait: There have been some reports in recent days that that whole issue has been resolved, that it’s not going to affect shipping into Iraq and so on. Can you confirm Iraq’s position on the project?

Dr Ali al-Dabbagh: The Government of Iraq has not yet given its final opinion about the Mubarak port. We do feel that there is a negative affect on our navigation lines, and the issue briefly is that the strait, which is 8km wide, is split in half – half to Kuwait and half to Iraq – as per Resolution 833 of the United Nations. The Iraqi side is very shallow, and not suitable for shipping; the Kuwaiti side has a [section] which is suitable for navigation, and it is only used by Iraqi vessels crossing to Umm Qasr. Kuwaitis never use this side.

The [UN] resolution gives the right to Iraq to navigate through the Kuwaiti water without paying any fees and without raising any Kuwait flags, so we have the right to use that passage, and any construction in that part we feel is going to obstruct our navigation. And because Iraq has very limited access to the Gulf we feel that is going to create a very high negative affect on our future lines for navigation, so we have asked the Kuwaitis to wait until we get the full information that this is not going to affect us.

Kuwait say they are making the construction on ‘zero low tide’, which means there is no projection of the construction in the water. We want to be sure that there is no … negative influence, neither environmentally, commercially, nor on navigation or trading. This port is being built to serve Iraq, because the other side of Boubiyan Island is not facing to Kuwait, it is facing to the Faw Peninsula, and in order for this port to work you need to maintain a good relation with the people who benefit out of this, which means Iraqis in this case. Without having a proper arrangement with Iraq I think we can’t accept this construction unless we are sure that this is not going to harm us. We have the full right to be worried about this issue, and we don’t want to create any problems to Kuwait, but we maintain the full right to protect our interests, and the interests of the Iraqi people.

Posted in TransportationComments (1)

Iraqi Minister says Dispute over Kuwaiti Port is Resolved

According to a report from Associated Press, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (pictured) says that a dispute over a planned Kuwaiti port has been resolved, and that the facility will not disrupt Iraqi shipping in the Persian Gulf.

The minister said that a technical review showed that the Mubarak port on Boubiyan Island “won’t affect our navigation,” as had been feared.

In an interview late on Sunday, Zebari said the review “removed the fears of the Mubarak port.”

The Construction of the facility off Kuwait’s coast raised new tensions between the two nations this summer.

Iraq initially objected to the port and feared the country would be cut off from the lucrative Gulf shipping trade just as it regains its economic footing.

(Source: Associated Press)

Posted in Oil & Gas, TransportationComments (1)

Oil, Power and Ports: Iraq and Kuwait Bicker Over Border Areas

According to lawmakers, the border area between Kuwait and Iraq should no longer be disputed territory. However Iraqi locals see it differently and accuse Kuwait of blocking their waterways, stealing their oil and teaching their children untruths about the area, according to this report from Niqash.

As dusk falls along the southern borders that Iraq shares with Kuwait, the lights of the Kuwaitis mining gas and oil in the region begin to glow. But the pretty scenery hides a spot with a particularly troubled history and, it seems, a troubled future.

The area, about 40 kilometres west of Basra, was the subject of United Nations Security Council Resolution 833, adopted in 1993, which precisely marked the previous borders between Iraq and Kuwait following a ceasefire agreement after Iraq’s invasion of its neighbour. In 2004 the Kuwaiti authorities built a multi-million dollar metal barrier along the border that stretches over 200 kilometres.

The resolution saw a significant amount of land, hosting both oil wells and agriculture such as tomato farms, passed from Iraq to Kuwait, as well as the establishment of a wide zone of neutrality between the two countries. Various issues are still disputed and Basra’s citizenry has also complained that the Kuwaitis took advantage of Iraq’s internal turmoil, following the 2003 US-led invasion of their country, to exploit resources on the shared border.

A high ranking official in the Safwan area, where the border is, told NIQASH that locals are not happy with either the Kuwaitis or the Iraqi federal government. They describe “the unjust demarcation of borders as well as their government’s reluctance to put an end to this injustice,” said the official, who had had some of his own land confiscated when the new border was marked out.

Posted in Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas, Security, TransportationComments Off

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