Iraqi MPs collect signatures against Kuwaiti encroachment on Iraqi sovereignty

Amr Al Housni

May. 14, 2024 • 3 min read
Image of Iraqi MPs collect signatures against Kuwaiti encroachment on Iraqi sovereignty

Iraqi parliamentary members collect signatures to address Kuwaiti encroachments on sovereignty amid tensions over oil drilling near Umm Qasr.

Parliamentary members’ signatures have been collected to form a fact-finding committee regarding Kuwaiti encroachments on Iraqi sovereignty, an MP from Basra announced on Tuesday, calling on the government to take a firm stance to respond to these encroachments and preserve the country's resources.

An official document showed that MP Odai Awad submitted a request to the Presidency of the Parliament accompanied by 50 parliamentary signatures, to form a committee to investigate the facts and take necessary measures against Kuwaiti encroachments on Iraqi sovereignty, the latest of which was the drilling of an oil well in the jointly demarcated and internationally prohibited border area, with the aim of causing damage to the Iraqi people's oil wealth.

Awad called on the Parliament's Presidency to compel the government to take a governmental and international stance to stop and remove these encroachments, emphasizing that this falls within the government's duties according to Iraqi law.

Earlier in May, MP Alaa al-Haidari, revealed a series of Kuwaiti encroachments on Iraqi territorial and maritime waters. He demanded the federal and local governments to expel the Kuwaiti consul from Basra until all issues between the two countries are resolved.

“Kuwait recently dug oil wells just meters away from the city of Umm Qasr, which is a provocation to Iraqis and the people of Basra in particular,” he said in a press conference.

“As representatives from Basra, we demanded that the government send a high-level delegation to follow up on this encroachment, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to us and remained silent like the silence of the graves,” he added.

Haidari expressed his astonishment at the silence of the local government in Basra regarding Kuwaiti encroachments on Iraqi territory, calling on the presidency of the parliament to “form a parliamentary committee to follow up on these encroachments.”

The representative from Basra demanded that the federal and local governments to expel the Kuwaiti consul from Basra until all Kuwaiti encroachments on Iraq are resolved and the sovereignty of Iraq and its people are respected.

The issue between Iraq and Kuwait dates back to 1932 when Britain demanded border demarcation as part of Iraq's path to independence.

After the Gulf War in 1991 and the US invasion in 2003, Kuwait, in accordance with UN Resolution 833 of 1993, extended its control over the port of Khor Adullah, the only direct maritime front for Iraq on the international waters of the Arabian Gulf. The issue resurfaced during a 2023 meeting between Kuwaiti and Iraqi foreign ministers.

The borders were delineated on November 10, 1994, in compliance with the previous regime's adherence to UN Resolution 833 of 1993, and no changes have occurred since 2003.

Iraqi experts argue that UN Security Council Resolution 833 of 1993 deprived Iraq of vast, oil-rich territories and its only naval base in the Gulf, Arabian Gulf Naval Base in Umm Qasr, along with all its associated facilities, due to their inclusion in Kuwait.

Umm Qasr is an Iraqi city on the border with Kuwait, housing thousands of homes. However, the issue revolves around approximately a hundred of these homes designated for the housing of naval base personnel in Basra, which, according to the Kuwaiti narrative, lie within the boundaries delineating the border between the two countries.

As a result, Kuwait demanded their removal and undertook the construction of an alternative residential city to accommodate double the number of homes facing removal. Kuwait completed the construction of the residential city in 2020.

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Author Amr Al Housni

Amr Al Housni is a Syrian news reporter based in Erbil, specializing in coverage of local and international events.


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