Cancellation of fourth phase of Mubarak port does not mean demise of damage, says Transport Ministry08/07/2012 17:53
BAGHDAD, July 8 (AKnews) - Iraq’s Ministry of Transport announced today that cancelling the fourth phase of building Kuwait’s Mubarak Port is an important step but does not mean the end of the damage on Iraqi navigation.
The Kuwaiti government announced yesterday that it stopped the fourth stage of building Mubarak Port due to harm brought against Iraqi navigation.
Iraqi political sources expressed their fears that the government entered an agreement with Kuwait to resolve a number of outstanding issues on the condition of Baghdad's acceptance for the establishment of Mubarak Port.
Adviser at the ministry Karim al-Nouri said: "We consider stopping the fourth stage as goodwill and we hope that it will contribute to resolving the rest of outstanding issues with Kuwait."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki held a day-long round of talks in Kuwait in March described as "successful". The talks resulted in ending the dispute over debts of Iraqi Airways.
In April last year Kuwait put in place the foundation stone for the construction of Mubarak Port on Bubiyan island, which is located in the far north-west of the Arabian Gulf. It is the second-largest island in the Gulf (890 square kilometers) after the Iranian island of Qeshm.
Baghdad and other Iraqi cities witnessed protests over the Kuwaiti project because the Iraqi government said that it would damage Iraqi navigation.
According to Iraqi experts, the port will make the Kuwaiti coast extend over a distance of 500km, while the Iraqi coast will be limited to an area of 50km, warning that the project may cause a new political crisis between the two neighbors and could "strangle" Iraq’s only sea port.
By Raman Brosk