The cancellation of the Khor Abdullah agreement complicates the border scene.. and Kuwait is armed with a UN resolution[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Baghdad today - follow-up
With the increasing complexities and the ambiguous position on how to solve the land and sea border problem between Iraq and Kuwait, the decision of the Federal Supreme Court added to the ambiguity of the scene, after it decided that the 2013 Khor Abdullah agreement between Iraq and Kuwait was unconstitutional.
The court justified its decision "for violating the provisions of Article (61 / Fourth) of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq, which stipulates that the process of ratifying international treaties and agreements is regulated by a law enacted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Representatives."
The Iraqi court's decision brings to the fore the border problems between Baghdad and Kuwait, which the two countries pledged to overcome recently, after the gradual improvement in relations over the past years.
Saadoun Hussein, a professor of international relations in Baghdad, described the border problems between Iraq and Kuwait as "a fire under the ashes," indicating that it is a time bomb that could explode at any moment.
On the other hand, the former Kuwaiti Minister of Information, Saad bin Taflah Al-Ajmi, believes that the Iraqi court's decision is "an internal Iraqi matter of no importance to Kuwait."
What is Khawr Abdullah agreement?
After a long political debate between the two countries that lasted for more than two years, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved, in January 2013, an agreement with Kuwait related to regulating navigation in Khawr Abdullah, which overlooks the Gulf waters.
The Iraqi Council of Representatives approved the border agreement later in the same year to enter into force in an official capacity, although it is widely opposed by Iraqi politicians.
The agreement provides for dividing the waters of Khor Abdullah equally between the two countries, based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution "833" issued in 1993, which re-demarcated the borders in the wake of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Iraqis object to this agreement because they consider that it gives Kuwait the right to territorial waters inside Iraq, which impedes the movement of maritime trade in front of the country's limited ports.
What is the Iraqi government's choice?
The annulment of the Supreme Court in Iraq came after a lawsuit filed by the parliamentarian, Saud Al-Saadi, although the court itself rejected a similar lawsuit in December 2014.
Hussein, a professor of international relations, believes that the Iraqi government is "obligated" to implement the decisions of the Supreme Court, given that its rulings are not subject to appeal or appeal.
He said the Iraqi government's only option is to "go to parliament and ask for a re-vote on this agreement, in line with court decisions."
In the 2014 case, the Iraqi Supreme Court itself refused; because the lawsuit “is not based on the basis of the constitution or the law”; Because Article 61 / Fourth of the Constitution was not legislated during that time, according to court papers.
Hussein said that the decision, which requires parliament to ratify international treaties and agreements by a two-thirds majority, was issued in 2015.
The Supreme Court also rejected in the 2014 case that the agreement harmed the Iraqi side, because this does not fall within its jurisdiction.
The new decision would bring the border disputes back into the limelight again between Iraq and Kuwait, although the two governments are committed to moving forward to end this old file.
Last July, the foreign ministers of Kuwait and Iraq confirmed, during their meeting in Baghdad, their commitment to ending the file of demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries.
After the new decision, Representative Al-Saadi wrote on the "X" website (formerly Twitter): "We say to the Iraqi fishermen: Practice your fishing as you like, as Khawr Abdullah has returned to you, and no one has the right to attack you."
The Kuwaiti Coast Guard sometimes confiscates or stops Iraqi fishermen's boats, for illegally entering Kuwaiti territorial waters.
"Iraqi internal affairs"
However, the former Kuwaiti minister, Al-Ajmi, said that "Kuwait has nothing to do" with the rulings of the Iraqi judiciary, in response to a question about the repercussions of the court's decision on the Gulf state.
He added that this is an "internal Iraqi matter," noting that the issue of land and sea borders between the two countries is "completely resolved" by an international resolution of the United Nations.
He explained that the 2013 agreement to regulate navigation in Khor Abdullah dates back to the Security Council resolution in 1993, which was approved by former President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi National Council, according to Al-Ajmi.
And he continued, "What governs our relations with Iraq are international resolutions issued by the Security Council that were agreed upon.. The two governments have bypassed this file, and the matter is over for Kuwait and is no longer of importance."
Al-Ajmi believes that "the problem of Iraq" is that "it is living in a transitional and turbulent phase with regard to its borders and even its existence... There are parts of Iraq that are not controlled by the central government."
He cited the Turkish presence in the north of the country, and the repeated incursions by Iran in the east, in addition to the Kurdistan region, which has become a de facto separate country from Iraq, according to his description.
"Deep in Basra"
On the other hand, Hussein said that the problem of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border will remain "lurking without a solution" because of what he described as the "bullying" of Kuwait by an international decision.
He added, "If Kuwait wants to live in peace and security, it must not transgress the borders of Iraq, which it took in a difficult Iraqi circumstance.. Its (Kuwait) borders are now deep in Basra, and this is a problem, as the legislator, the politician, and the Iraqi citizen feel wronged."
Hussein said that "any change in the balance of power in the Gulf" could raise the issue of the borders of the two countries again, adding: "A strong Iraqi president could invade Kuwait again," he said.