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Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone

Found in: History of Kuwait Foreign relations of Kuwait History of Saudi Arabia

The Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone, also known as the Divided Zone, is an area of 5,770 km between the borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that was left undefined when the border was established by the Uqair Convention of December 2, 1922.

In the area which was later to be called the "Neutral Zone" or "Divided Zone", the Uqair Convention stated that "the Government of Najd and Kuwait will share equal rights until through the good offices of the Government of Great Britain a further agreement is made between Najd and Kuwait concerning it".

However, there was little interest in a more definitive settlement in the so-called "Neutral Zone" until the discovery, in 1938, of oil in the Burgan (Burqan) of Kuwait. With the probability of the discovery of oil within the "Neutral Zone" itself, concessions were granted in 1948–1949 by each government to private companies. Later the two countries exploited the oil under a joint operating agreement.

The partitioning negotiations commenced shortly after the rulers of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia met and decided, in October 1960, that the Neutral Zone should be divided. On July 7, 1965, the two governments signed an agreement to partition the Neutral Zone adjoining their respective territories. A demarcation agreement dividing the Neutral Zone was signed on December 17, 1967 but did not formally take effect until the exchange of instruments and signing which took place in Kuwait on 9 Shawwal 1389 AH [*]. Ratification followed on January 18, 1970, and the agreement was published in the Kuwaiti Official Gazette on January 25, 1970.

The zone was never assigned an ISO 3166 code since it was partitioned before the adoption of ISO 3166 in 1974.


US Dept of State

International Boundary Study No. 103

See also

Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone