There's so much going on in Iraq, it's easy to miss a momentous development that just took place: the Iraqi and Kuwaiti governments have just signed a border agreement. Why momentous? Because it was the lack of a mutual-agreed-upon border in 1990 that led Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, which in turn led to the sanctions regime on Baghdad whose 1998 renunciation eventually led to the invasion of 2003 and to the mess today.
Details on the agreement, as reported by Agence France-Presse:
"We have signed a deal ... after which Kuwait will be able to complete the construction of the security fence," Kuwait's foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah told reporters after talks with his Iraqi counterpart on Tuesday. The deal calls for the payment of "compensation to Iraqi farmers" on the border, said Jarallah, and added that the amount "had been deposited with the United Nations."
"We have completed the practical requirements for the demarcation of borders," based on UN Security Council Resolution 833 issued in 1993, Iraq's foreign ministry undersecretary Mohammad al-Haj said. The UN resolution demarcated the land border between the two nations and granted Kuwait some territory that had previously been held by Iraq. … Kuwait began the construction of a 200-kilometer (125-mile) metal barrier along its land borders with Iraq in early 2005, but Iraqi protestors near the town of Umm Qasr tore down parts of the fence saying it was being erected on their land.
The two officials also discussed demarcation of sea borders and production of oil from border oilfields.
(November 23, 2006)