Iraq seeks resolution over Khor Abdullah waterway dispute with Kuwait

Iraq seeks resolution over Khor Abdullah waterway dispute with Kuwait
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani calls for a solution that respects both national and international law over the Khor Abdullah waterway dispute.
2 min read
27 September, 2023
Protesters gather to protest against former Iraqi government's agreement, which ensures to hand over Khor Abdullah waterway to Kuwait [Anadolu Agency]

Iraq is keen to overcome a dispute with Kuwait on maritime navigation in the Khor Abdullah waterway between the two countries, Iraq's prime minister said on Tuesday.

In comments carried by Iraq's state news agency, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani said the country wants a solution that does not conflict with its constitution or with international law.

Iraq respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait and is committed to all its bilateral agreements with countries and to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, a statement from the prime minister's media office said on Tuesday after Al-Sudani's meeting with the state's administration coalition.

"Such crises are resolved through understanding and reliance on rationality, away from the language of emotion and convulsive populist statements that only produce more crises and tension", Al-Sudani was quoted as telling his cabinet.

Iraq's Federal Supreme Court ruled this month that a bilateral agreement regulating navigation in the waterway was unconstitutional. The court said the law ratifying the accord should have been approved by two-thirds of parliament.

The countries' shared land border was demarcated by the United Nations in 1993 after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, but it did not cover the length of their maritime boundaries. This was left for the two oil producers to resolve.

A maritime border agreement between the two nations was reached in 2012 and ratified by each of their legislative bodies in 2013.

Kuwait's prime minister has described the Iraqi court ruling on the waterway as containing "historical fallacies", calling on Iraq to take "concrete, decisive and urgent measures" to address it.