Iraq Urges Kuwait To Stop Port Building

Posted July 27th, 2011 at 10:15 am (UTC-5)
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Iraq has asked Kuwait to suspend work on a controversial megaport in the Persian Gulf due to concerns that it could hurt Baghdad's shipping interests.

Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh released a statement Wednesday saying his government has asked Kuwait to stop construction of the Mubarak Port on Bubiyan Island until it could assure Iraq that Iraqi navigation and shipping lanes would not be affected.

Iraq has expressed concern that the Kuwaiti megaport project could hamper business at Iraq's planned Grand Faw port, just across a shared waterway. Iraq plans to construct a $4 billion deep-water facility on its Faw peninsula but the project has been long delayed.

Kuwait's al-Siyasa newspaper quoted a government spokesman Wednesday as saying Kuwait intends to press on with building the Mubarak Port.

The paper also quoted unidentified Kuwaiti officials as saying an Iraqi delegation will visit soon and discuss “technical matters” concerning the port.

The newspaper said Kuwait's right to establish the port in its territorial waters will not be discussed.