Kuwait has responded to the Iraqi protest that the latter filed against it at the Security Council by stressing that the construction of a naval plant on the area of Fisht Al-Aij is a sovereign right.
An official source at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the construction of the naval plant on Fisht Al-Aij area in Kuwaiti territorial sea is, “a sovereign right of the State of Kuwait in its territory and territorial sea”, according to Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.
KUNA said that this statement came in response to a news story about the “Iraqi government’s objection to Kuwait’s establishment of a naval plant on (Fisht Al-Aij) as this plant will affect the demarcation of the maritime border between the two countries in the maritime area after the mark 162.”
The official source explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his country received this memorandum from the permanent delegation to the United Nations after its submission at the Security Council and immediately responded to it as follows:
- First: The State of Kuwait affirms that the territorial sea has been defined under the Decree of 17-12-1967 on the territorial sea of the State of Kuwait and updated on 19-10-2014 regarding the delimitation of the marine areas of the State of Kuwait as provided for in Article 15 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- Second: Fisht Al-Aaij is an area of land formed naturally above sea level and is located in Kuwaiti territorial sea. Consequently, the construction of the plant is a sovereign right of the State of Kuwait in its territory and territorial sea.
- Third: The plant has been built for maritime navigation purposes in Khawr Abd Allahin in addition to meeting the security needs of this area. Iraq was notified through the minutes of the sixth meeting of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi committee about Kuwait’s intention to establish the plant. Additionally, a memorandum was filed to the Iraqi Embassy in Kuwait about this matter on 8 February 2017.
- Fourth: The State of Kuwait replied to the memorandums of the Iraqi side dated 5-9-2017 and 12-9-2018, in which the Iraqi side demanded to postpone the establishment of the platform until the completion of the maritime borders after point 162 in the notes from the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Baghdad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 26 -7-2017 and 26-9-2018, by stressing that the establishment of the plant is one of the State of Kuwait’s sovereign matters.
The source said that regarding the demarcation of maritime borders after the 162 mark, the State of Kuwait confirms that it has continued to remind the Iraqi side since 2005 until the latest meeting in May that the legal experts in the two countries have to start negotiating on the demarcation of unmarked maritime borders through meetings of joint ministerial committees and ministerial messages in this regard.
The source also pointed out that “the State of Kuwait called on the brothers in Iraq to resolve this issue by resorting to the International Court of Justice with the Law of the Sea set under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982,” stressing that “by reviewing these facts, the State of Kuwait is stressing its care for the distinguished fraternal relations between the two brotherly countries and its continuous coordination with the brothers to resolve all outstanding issues so that the two countries’ relations will not be exposed to any imperfections.”
Iraq had sent a letter to the Security Council accusing Kuwait of pursuing a policy of imposing a fait accompli by making geographical changes in the maritime borders between the two countries.
Diplomatic sources at the United Nations revealed to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai that the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Al-Uloom had handed over an official letter to the President of the Security Council on August 7, demanding that it be circulated and issued as an official document by the Council, and that Bahr Al-Uloom had also met with a number of representatives of countries to explain his country’s position.