Shatha Khalil *
Iraqi Khawr Abdullah is a waterway located in the north of the Arabian Gulf between the islands of Boubyan, Warbah and the Iraqi Arabian Peninsula of Faw, and Khawr Abdullah extends into Iraqi territory, forming Khawr al-Zubayr, in which the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr is located.
The borders between several countries including Iraq and Kuwait were demarcated in the Anglo-Ottoman Treaty of 1913, which ended 40 years of conflict between Britain and the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf region.
The agreement of the Aqeer on December 2, 1922 confirmed the border between Iraq and Kuwait as Sir Percy Cox, the British High Commissioner in Iraq, invited Iraq , Kuwait and Najd to hold a conference in Al-Aqeer, and Kuwait was represented at this conference by the British Accredited Sir Moore, and the basic subject matter for this conference is to define borders among the three countries, and the three parties have signed the same border as reached in the Convention in 1913.
The border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait began during Ottoman rule. In 1931, an agreement was signed in London between Britain (the then protector of Kuwait) and the Ottoman Empire (Iraq was under Ottoman rule). Article 7 of this agreement defined the border between Kuwait and Basra. This treaty did not enter into force because of the First World War.
The border dispute continued until the July 17-30 revolution, which also refused to demarcate the border .The position of the Iraqi government was clear and explicit, declaring in 1973 that it did not recognize the letter attributed to Nuri al-Said 1932, nor the 1963 record because the islands of Warba and Bubian and the coast opposite them fall within Iraqi territory,
Kuwait exploited the circumstances of the Iraq war with Iran to expand at the expense of the Iraqi territories. This led Iraq, in addition to other reasons, to invade Kuwait on August 2, 1990, under which Iraq was subject to chapter VII of the UN Charter, which described Iraq as a country threatening the international peace and security and breaches of article 39, chapter VII.
In 2012, the Khawr Abdullah agreement was signed, an international border agreement between Iraq and Kuwait, and approved by the Iraqi Council of Representatives in a session under the name of the humiliated ( Khawr Abd Allah Agreement). The first vote was humiliating and it was voted again to be passed. It was approved in 25 November 2013, in order to complement the demarcation procedures between the two countries and to establish a precise definition of its coordinates on the basis of the agreement between the two countries.
The agreement sparked controversy in Iraq, where a team of Iraqi politicians saw the previous government and the previous parliamentary session have conceded Iraqi land and water in favor of Kuwait through the agreement.
Khawr Abd Allah is the only shipping corridor leading to most of the Iraqi ports, and the division is done by halving, not by the Talluk line, the deepest passage for maritime navigation.
While the other team defended the Convention as a complement to the demarcation of the border on the basis of an international resolution.
The main objective of the Khawr Abdullah agreement was the withdrawal of Iraq from Chapter VII of the border demarcation, the regulation of maritime navigation and the preservation of the marine environment in the navigation corridor in Khor Abdullah, to the benefit of both countries.
But in fact it was to seize Iraqi land and water in Khawr Abdullah, and thus Iraq did not have any other sea port which is a dangerous precedent that will further tighten the deteriorating situation of the Iraqi economy.
Iraq had to pay the demarcation fee of 600 thousand dollars for the demarcation, since 1993, according to resolution 833, ie in the time of the former regime, but refuses even to attend meetings, despite the political and economic and military pressures, and this is definitive evidence of rejection of the demarcation, refusing to pay the amount and saying to take the amount from the memorandum of understanding “Oil for food and medicine.”
The Iraqi negotiating delegation, which visited Kuwait before the Prime Minister’s visit, was composed of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Human Rights, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haji Hammoud, and some of the advisers, who are close to the Prime Minister.
The Kuwaiti side was led by the Foreign Minister Sabah al-Sabah and the negotiator Khalid Jarallah. The argument of the negotiations was the withdrawal of Iraq from the seventh item. Some members of the Iraqi delegation criticized the Kuwaiti position for exploiting the situation in Iraq. The former legal adviser to Prime Minister Dr. Fadel Jawad expressed his dissatisfaction with the positions of the Kuwaiti side, while Dr. Mohammed al-Haj Hammoud praised the positions of the Kuwaiti side, and this was made before the Iraqi and Kuwaiti foreign ministers and members of the two delegations.
Then, when the prime minister arrived Kuwait, the signature was done. After the delegation returned to Baghdad and presented what was happening in the cabinet for discussion and voting, everyone was surprised by the finance minister who said: The money was paid two days ago to the United Nations which caused a shock for the counsel and matter is over. Kuwait was ready to pay billions in return for the withdrawal of the amount of 600 thousand dollars from the Iraqi treasury, because this means recognition of Iraq for the demarcation.
The United Nations demarcated the border between Iraq and Kuwait in Khawr Abd Allah on the basis of the half-line on the surface of the water, although the khawr includes a navigational channel. In this case, the boundaries are drawn on the base of the taluk line, ie the deep line rather than on the middle line on the water surface This method is based on the division of non-navigable rivers and lakes, but this is what was achieved by the United Nations. Iraq at the time approved Resolution 833. Had the demarcation been done on the basis of Altaluk line, the border would have been based on the deep line of the navigational channel, not within the territorial waters of Kuwait
That Iraq has obtained through the Convention the right to participate in the management of the navigational channel, but lost under the unfair resolution 833 many oil wells, land and water, and the main reason is to pay 600 thousand dollars, and it was better to keep Iraq under Chapter VII more merciful than strangling Iraq and loss of sovereignty on its waters and land.
It is requested to disclose to the Iraqis who is responsible for a payment order? And how? And why? And claim to punish those who are responsible for the loss of the interests of Iraq in favor of personal interests , and if the Minister of Finance has paid the amount in a personal unique decision , so how and why the Council of Ministers approved ?
The grand Iraqi port of Faw and the scientist Joseph Hanna Sheikh:
The project of the great Iraqi port of Faw is one of the most important projects that have not been completed, in the Al Faw peninsula, south of Basrah Governorate. The project cost about 4.6 billion Euros. The planned port capacity is 99 million tons per year to be one of the largest ports overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the tenth in the world. The foundation stone for this project was laid on April 5, 2010.
The port is located in the Ras al-Bisha area on the end of Iraq’s continental shelf and is a qualitative leap in its geopolitical importance to link Iraq to the world by re-establishing the importance of the East-West Link. Its establishment will change the global maritime transport map. The project is likely to become one of the largest Gulf ports in Arab region with an initial production capacity of 45-20 million tons per year. It is a strategic project linking the East with Europe via Iraq, Turkey and Syria with the so-called dry canal.
The Iraqi scientist , expert and businessman Joseph Hanna al-Sheikh :
the planner for the grand port of Faw, whose family has been working in ports for nearly 100 years. He was one of the oldest families in Basra. He had the solution to get Iraq rid of the effects of the Mubarak port of Kuwait by adopting a previous plan to bury millions of rocks and create an industrial coast.
Hanna started negotiating with the Iraqi government to build the port of Faw and continued from 2004 until 2008, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appointed a committee, but stopped working without knowing the reason! Noting that the project of the port of Faw does not cost Iraq ( one penny) , and the project includes the following:
• Construction of an industrial city of 350 square kilometers, which extends within the sea by about 250 square kilometers, and the completion period of 3 years at a cost of about 12 billion dollars. It could be reduced to only $ 8 billion because of the global financial crisis.
• The Italian company will create something similar to the pavement of 35 square kilometers only, and the Kuwaiti port of Mubarak will be affected by it certainly because it does not benefit from the depth of the sea, while the scheme of the large FAO, moving into the sea through landfills and the manufacture of long coasts.
• Construction of industrial and tourist facilities on an area of 350 km2 and housing complexes that will accommodate half a million people, experts and workers in the port and its remaining facilities.
• The scheme will be 35 km long and 10 km wide. 15 km of the port facilities will be built with a large rocky stretch, but an industrial city in the sea and a draft of a ship according to international standards allowing the entry of giant vessels.
“The scheme includes the laying of one billion cubic meters in the sea with 25 million tons of stone,” asserting that “our plan is not affected by the port of Mubarak, the scenario is the only practical solution, and neither Kuwait nor Iran can suffocate.”
• The great port of Faw will also include industrial and petrochemical facilities, offices for foreign investment agencies, a huge industrial zone for heavy and light industries, a tourist area on the sea including 5-star hotels and 4-star hotels on a tourist promenade, a residential city of 500,000 people, The scheme includes the construction of a 2000 MW power plant and a desalination plant.
• It is planned to establish an oil island next to the port, an export capacity of 10 million barrels per day.
“The project has not been welcomed by the Iraqi government, even though it does not cost a penny. It employs over half a million graduates and the unemployed from all fields and specialties, while the government is planning to increase its trade with neighboring countries by billions on consumer goods that do not achieve investment and economic development of the country.
The impacts, objectives and economic risks of the Khawr Abd Allah Agreement are as follows:
• Violation of Iraqi sovereignty over its land and water because Khawr Abd Allah is a purely Iraqi property. it gives priority to Kuwait to control the Khawr waterway, which is almost the most important in Iraq’s territorial waters, which is a major public damage to the country.
• Khour Abdullah is the only outlet of Iraq to be under Kuwaiti sovereignty, knowing that Resolution 833, even though it is unjust against Iraq, gave the right of maritime navigation, which states that no Kuwaiti is entitled to board a ship heading for Iraq.
• The Convention implicitly recognizes the port of Mubarak, knowing that it contravenes the laws of the sea and has no income under Article VII or 833 resolution.
• Raise the insurance fees on the ships entering Iraq, which leads to its reluctance and turning the trade from the port of Umm Qasr to the port of Mubarak
• Achieve new benefits for Kuwait by making wages common, giving them an additional advantage.
According to specialized geographical studies, the Khawr Abd Allah area falls within the area of Blackjack 16, 17 and this impedes maritime maneuvering. The International Law of the Sea also states that no country has the right to change the geographical location of the site, while harming the neighboring country even it was their territories.
And it mentioned that Kuwait has no need for a new port. When the US forces were in Kuwait, the production operating capacity of the ports reached 67% and when the Americans left, the operational capacity reached 35%. This means that it does not need to build a port. The aim of port is to strangle Iraq economically and occupy its territory.
The Commission’s final verification decision
On the basis of the parliamentary order No. 77 of April 26, 2017, a parliamentary committee was formed to investigate the agreement of the Khawr Abdullah Canal for the regulation of maritime navigation between Iraq and the State of Kuwait.
The report confirmed that the lack of movement of ships of the Kuwaiti side in Khor Abdullah means that the agreement is directly related to the port of Mubarak, “and that” the activation of the Convention at this time is not useful to Kuwait because the port of Mubarak is under way.
The agreement aims to regulate navigation, which requires the movement of ships between the parties and the absence of reasons requires the suspension of work at the present time.
“After the end of the Iran-Iraq war, we have not seen any contribution by Kuwait towards the Khawr Abd Allah Canal, including the lifting, clearing and clearing of mines,” the report said.
The report of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee indicated that political parties and Iraqi experts in the field of water borders , they stressed that the Convention is a transgression of Kuwait on Iraqi sovereignty in its sole maritime coast.
The report of the committee confirmed that al-Khor is belonging for Iraqi sovereignty, since the British occupation, stressing that the signing of the agreement is a transgression to the sovereignty of Iraq’s maritime on its ports.
The report revealed that the Convention not only organized navigation, but went to: –
• Draw new maritime borders between the two countries, which contravenes UN Resolution 833.
• Control of Iraqi warships.
• Kuwait acquaintance on all security movements of the Iraqi Coast Guard, according to the commander of the Iraqi navy.
• The report noted that the British-based naval admiralty was receiving updates of the channel to correct maps from the Iraqi side exclusively, but Kuwait did not address the Admiralty only after the legislation of this agreement.
The report also spoke of the damage to Iraqi sea fishing “geographically damaged” due to the its poor maritime coasts.
The member of the parliamentary investigative committee Zahir al-Abadi said that the agreement, contrary to the law , it was signed 16 months before being submitted to parliament to vote, indicating that the accused of this agreement, the former government, and the former parliament, which did not observe the period of time 16 months.
Zaher al-Abadi denounced the president’s failure to object to the agreement and its seriousness.
Al-Abadi stressed the seriousness of the agreement and the damage it inflicted on Iraq, especially the province of Basra. The agreement prohibited the fishing of the Iraqi side and deprived the people of their work by fishing in the canal. The region contains vast maritime wealth noting that there is no fishing for Kuwait in the region because it enjoys of maritime extension of 600 Km Clio meters, while Iraq has only 46 Km.
He added that Khawr Abdullah channel is the only passage and port for Iraq, and that the issue of organizing navigation was on the Iraqi side only; because Kuwait does not have any ships or navigation in this side, while there is in Iraq.
It is clear that the aim of this agreement is to deprive Iraq from its territorial waters and not allow its vessels to pass through its maritime sovereignty.
He called on the Commission to carry out the following recommendations:
• A lawsuit to be filed in the Federal Court to challenge the agreement, “and to carry out a lawsuit before the international courts against the site of the Mubarak Port of Kuwait to be built in Khor Abdullah because it contravened Article 70 of the Law of the Sea.”
• The Iraqi government has to ” assign a specialized team of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and specialists in international law and experts of the border demarcation to challenge in the competent courts and international bodies against the international resolutions issued until the demarcation of the border between Iraq and Kuwait.”
• The government should not activate the railway agreement between Iraq and Kuwait unless the Khawr Abdullah agreement is canceled.
• The Iraqi government to inform the Kuwaiti side to delay the entry of the convention into force because there is no need to be implemented at the present time, “calling on the Iraqi parliament to assign a legal team and experts in the field of demarcation of the border to follow up.
And here we wonder: if a case is raised that the Convention is illegal, is it possible to cancel and return the land of Khawr Abdullah Iraqi, free?
For more information on the same topic, see what is published by the Rawabet Center in previous detailed articles on the same topic. Https://rawabetcenter.com/archives/58119
Iraq: Between his departure from Chapter VII and the bargaining of Kuwait on Khor Abdullah…
Kuwait takes over Iraqi territory with premeditation
The historical roots of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti borders and their true characterization
Documents for the Report of Parliamentary Inquiry Committee
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies