Letter: Iraq and Kuwait's land tussle

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WITH reference to 'Iraqi farmers breach the lost 'motherland' ' (28 November) I would like say the following:

1 Al-Abdali border post is well inside Kuwaiti territory; the Iraqis marched into Kuwait in violation of the borders.

2 The UN didn't give Kuwait Iraqi land. The commission carried out the technical task of demarcating the border on the basis of written agreements between Iraq and Kuwait. The narrow strip of land which the UN has returned to Kuwait had been taken by an official Iraqi policy of encroachment during the 1970s. Its ownership was never transferred by the Iraqi government to those who utilised it, but rented by those who farmed it. Nevertheless, Kuwait has offered to compensate the families, but the Iraqi regime has forbidden them from receiving compensation.

3 Iraq has ports at Basrah, Fao and Al-Bakr in addition to Umm Qasr. The land which has been returned to Kuwait is a strip just south of Umm Qasr, where in March 1973, the Iraqi army attacked the Kuwaiti border post and occupied the strip, which was subsequently used as an Iraqi military port. The civilian port of Umm Qasr remains under Iraqi sovereignty.

Amal Al-Hamad

Director, Kuwait Information

Centre, London SW7