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Iraqi militant group threatens Kuwait over border agreement

KUWAIT: An Iraqi militant group announced plans to attack Kuwait if the country ‘breaches’ the Iraqi borders, which according to them happens as per an agreement by the government of both countries to regulate navigation at the joint Khor Abdullah strip of water. The agreement was passed last August by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, and is currently awaiting the signature of the Iraqi President as per protocol. When that step is taken, secretary general of the socalled ‘Hezbollah of Iraq’ Wathiq Al-Battat said that the militant group prepares to “strike any Kuwaiti advancement on Iraq’s old borders”. The same man, whose affiliation remains a mystery, had previously threatened Kuwait on the aftermath of controversies surrounding individual plans by both countries to build ports overlooking the Khor Abdullah, which were settled last year following official talks. “The Khor Abdullah treaty was a business deal brokered in dark rooms, and aims to strangle Iraq by making it a ‘tool’ in the hands of Gulf states when its maritime borders are seized”, Al-Battat told an Iraqi news agency on Saturday. And while he held his government responsible for what he described as ‘concessions’ for Kuwait, Al-Battat urged the socalled “national forces” naming the White Iraqiya Bloc in specific to organized protests against the “controversial treaty”.

Meanwhile, Al-Battat who is wanted by Iraqi authorities for public disturbance said that he is capable of holding demonstrations featuring more than 23,000 people in the border cities of Sefwan and Um Qasr. In the meantime, efforts continue in the Iraqi parliament to urge Vice President Khodair Al-Khozaei who is currently handling the state’s president’s duty due to Jalal Talabani’s illness, to reject the treatment they deem ‘unmerited’. “The treaty has negatively affected fishermen in Basra and prevented Iraqi ships from entering the Khor Abdullah unless with Kuwaiti permission”, said the president of the regions and provinces committee in the Iraqi Parliament, Mansour Al-Tamimi. He further argued that the Mubarak Port which Kuwait builds in the Boubyan Island “will provide a more preferred destination for global shops due to reduced insurance costs”. Meanwhile, the Free Iraqiya Coalition announced that 80 Iraqi lawmakers have signed a petition to call off the deal.

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This article was published on 08/09/2013