Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to meet over sea border dispute

Agence France-Presse

Oct 12, 2011 

KUWAIT CITY // A tripartite meeting between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be held to resolve a decades-old dispute over maritime borders, the Kuwaiti foreign minister said yesterday.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Sabah told a news conference after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi: "It's basically a technical issue but it will need a political decision from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

"A proposal to hold a tripartite Iranian, Saudi and Kuwaiti meeting was made and Iran has agreed in principle," Sheikh Mohammed said, without announcing a date for the meeting.

The Kuwaiti minister said his meeting with Mr Salehi focused almost entirely on the maritime border issue known as the continental shelf "which is a thorn in the Iranian-Kuwaiti ties".

The two nations have been in talks for several years over demarcating the sea border, which is also shared by Saudi Arabia, without any progress.

The dispute over the shelf, which includes the Dorra gasfield, dates back to the 1960s.

Recoverable gas reserves from Dorra are estimated at some 200 billion cubic metres.

Iranian also has maritime disputes in the Gulf with the UAE. Iran has occupied the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, which the Emirates regards as its territory.