The State of Kuwait has been recently accused by certain Iraqi MPs of seizing parts of Iraqi territory and violating Iraq’s navigation rights in the area of the inlet of Khawr Abd Allah – a border waterway about 40 kilometres (25 miles) long, through which most of Baghdad’s oil exports flow. According to Kuwait Times, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al Jarallah said that “Kuwait did not change the geographic conditions of this area”. UNSC resolution 833 of 1993 “demarcates the land borders and part of the marine borders up until sign No. 162”, he added.
The area of Khawr Abd Allah was actually delimited by the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission, set up under the auspices of the UN Security Council (see UN document S/25811, to which was annexed the Final Report on the Demarcation of the International Boundary between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait by the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission (20 May 1993) and maps in UN document S/25811/Add.1). However, this part of the boundary was not demarcated physically at that time but only by geographic coordinates. Physical demarcation of the boundary line was deemed “impractical and not necessary” by the UN Boundary Commission (see Final Report on the Demarcation of the International Boundary, para. 102).
This may have left open some issues of implementation of, and compliance with, the boundary line (median line) within the Khawr Abd Allah. The Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Jarallah said that new maps were needed to be drawn following the maintenance of border signs in line with resolution 833. “We are not changing positions of the signs,” he added. Kuwait and Iraq agreed to start drawing the new maps and will share the cost. “We have informed the UN about Kuwait’s readiness to draw these border maps, and we are awaiting approval of the Iraqi side,” he said.
It was also reported that Iraq and Kuwait signed an agreement in 2012 to organize navigation in this inlet. Jarallah said that Kuwaiti and Iraqi officials met on January 24 and 27 to discuss organization of navigation in Khor Abdullah.