ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Almost three decades after the regime of Saddam Hussein invaded its southern neighbor of Kuwait, a former Iraqi lawmaker has claimed that the country is an Iraqi territory.
Atab al-Douri said in an interview with local Iraqi media, while commenting on a 2013 agreement between Iraq and Kuwait, that “Kuwait is an Iraqi territory; not only just today, but even after a thousand years."
Under the premiership of Nouri al-Maliki in 2009, a string of bilateral agreements with Kuwait regulated use of a long-disputed border estuary known as the Khor Abdullah waterway. It is downstream from Iraq’s Umm Qasr port and its only passageway directly into the Persian Gulf. Many of the nation's imports pass through the waterway, so it is of considerable economic importance for Iraq.
As part of the agreement, which current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi endorsed in Feb. 2013, Iraq conceded ownership of the waterway to Kuwait, which led to angry protests in southern Iraq, particularly in the province of Basra.
At that time, al-Douri spoke publicly against the agreement and advocated with the Iraqi Presidency and Parliament to appeal it, considering the Khor Abdullah waterway a sovereign Iraqi territory unjustly given to Kuwait.
In August 1990, Iraq's army occupied Kuwait for seven months after Iraqi officials announced Kuwait as the country’s 19th province, leading to US-led military action that ousted the Iraqi forces.
Editing by John J. Catherine