KuwaitOther News

Lawmakers reject Iranian claims to offshore gas field

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Lawmakers on Tuesday rejected statements by neighboring Iran that it intends to start exploration at a disputed gas field with Kuwait, reiterating that the field is located in Kuwait’s territorial waters, demanding the National Assembly’s foreign relations panel should review the issue. The motion signed by six MPs said the Iranian statements were tainted with “greed and the desire to capture Kuwaiti resources” by ignoring Kuwait’s sovereignty and its historical, legal and international rights in its natural wealth.

The lawmakers demanded the foreign relations committee of the Assembly should review measures taken by the ministries of foreign affairs, defense, interior and oil and any other government body to safeguard Kuwait’s national interests and its rights in the Durra field. They also called on the committee to follow up attempts on the demarcation of maritime borders with Iran. Kuwait and Iran, which share the northern Arabian Gulf waters, have held several rounds of talks in an attempt to demarcate the borders of the Durra field, which is rich in gas.

Kuwait on Monday categorically rejected Iranian statements indicating that the Islamic Republic intends to carry out a project to develop the Durra field. Oil Minister Saad Al-Barrak stressed that the Durra field is exclusive to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and before Iran can take any move, it should demarcate the borders with Kuwait. Durra is rich in natural gas and sits on assets totaling seven trillion cubic feet.

The Kuwaiti foreign ministry also invited Iran for fresh talks to demarcate the maritime borders between the two Gulf nations. MP Osama Al-Shaheen also separately demanded that the foreign relations panel should debate the issue immediately. He said Iran has made some “rejected” claims and announcements on the Durra field, which is exclusive Kuwaiti territory with economic rights for both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

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