Friday, June 24, 2022

Kuwait releases 5 Iraqi fishers for crossing border mistakenly

The reports indicate that Kuwait authorities have released five Iraqi fishers who had mistakenly entered its regional waters.

Kuwait authorities released them after being thoroughly investigated, and they also verified the fishers’ identities.

In late April, the Kuwait Coast Guard arrested the men in the Ras al-Qayd region, where they were fishing.

The incident had raised tensions with Baghdad, with Iraqi lawmaker Alaa al-Haidari alleging that the Coast Guard had assaulted and tormented the anglers in the al-Faw region.

He, too, claimed that one of them had already lost his life.

Kuwait had criticised his claims, saying they do not remember the strength of ties among their countries.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Majdi Al-Dhafiri had met Iraqi Ambassador to Kuwait Al-Manhal Al-Safi in order to protest the remarks.

Al-Dhafiri denied the Iraqi blames and underscored the highly trusted goodness of the procedures followed by the Kuwaiti Coast Guard.

He applauded the ongoing cooperation between the Kuwaiti Coast Guard and Iraqi Navy in negotiating the breaches of Iraqi fishermen who float in Kuwaiti territorial waters.

Sources indicate that about some 15 kilometres (nine miles) from where the mighty Tigris and the Euphrates rivers meet and flow out to the Gulf lies the fishing port of Al-Faw.

“We have many problems with the Iraqis,” said Abdallah, an Iraqi fisherman who chose not to give his surname.

“If we try to cross the border because of the current, they arrest us.”

In the past, the border along the hidden median line of the Shatt al-Arab has been a casus belli.

In September 1980, Saddam’s forces raided after pitching the 1975 Algiers agreement that sought to put an end to debates over the borderline.

After the 2003 US-led attack, Iraq and Iran noted they desired to return to the contract against the backdrop of growing Iranian influence in its Arab neighbour.

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