Kuwait says in talks with Iran over gas-rich border
KUWAIT, June 27 (Reuters) - Kuwait said on Tuesday it is currently holding
intensive talks with Iran to resolve a dispute, also involving Saudi Arabia,
over oil and gas-rich areas in the northern Gulf.
The official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted Foreign Ministry Undersecretary
Khaled Sulaiman Jarallah as saying "intensive discussions" were
taking place between Kuwaiti and Iranian officials to resolve their continental
Jarallah did not elaborate about the contacts between the two countries,
but said talks would continue.
"An agreement will be reached in the near future thanks to the
increased honest efforts and joint cooperation," he said.
The long-standing row over unsettled maritime borders between Kuwait,
Iran and Saudi Arabia resurfaced in May after Riyadh and Kuwait protested
against Iranian gas drilling operations in the offshore Dorra field.
Iran has since ended operations in the area while Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
reopened border talks. But Tehran also stressed at the time that it was
operating within its territorial waters.
Jarallah reiterated Kuwait's appreciation for the halt in Iranian drilling
"until a fair and final accord is reached to meet the needs of the
two friendly states," KUNA reported.
In 1997, Iran and Kuwait agreed to postpone their continental shelf
talks until the Gulf Arab state reaches an accord with neighbouring Saudi
A Kuwait-Saudi pact is crucial to identify a tripartite point in the
Gulf to divide the waterway's riches between the three states but the two
Arab countries have failed for years to finalise their border talks.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah is due to visit Kuwait on Saturday
for three days of talks that would include the row.
Kuwait earlier this month said it would soon reach a political accord
with Saudi Arabia on the row and would then try to resolve its dispute
with Iran .
Kuwait has said it would send an envoy to Iran to discuss the issue
but did not specify a date or the level of contact.