Last Updated: Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:04 am (KSA) 07:04 am (GMT)

Kuwait to seek seizure of Iraq oil assets

Kuwait Airways will seek compensation from Iraq for having allegedly stolen its aviation equipment and 10 aircrafts during the first Gulf war. (File photo)
Kuwait Airways will seek compensation from Iraq for having allegedly stolen its aviation equipment and 10 aircrafts during the first Gulf war. (File photo)

Kuwait Airways will seek compensation from Iraq for having allegedly stolen its aviation equipment and 10 aircrafts worth $1.2 billion during the first Gulf war, according to reports.

Christopher Gooding, a Kuwait Airways lawyer, told Iraqoilreport.com that following the end of international legal protections on Iraqi oil assets on June 30, 2011, the company will seek to enforce a 2006 English Supreme Court ruling against Iraqi Airways.

“From the First of July, it’s open season...we can enforce against any assets, including oil tankers and oil assets,” Mr. Gooding said.
A United Nations Security Council resolution on January 15 gave a period of six months ending June 30 to lift protection on Iraq money approved by the United Nations in May 2003.

Hajjaj Bukhadour, a Kuwaiti economist, told Al Arabiya that “Iraq has compensated for much of what its previous regime did to other countries,” and that some remaining claims can be settled before the end of international legal protection on Iraq’s assets.

Mr. Bukhadour added that Iraq did not have any oil assets abroad but that it had some funds that were frozen under UN sanctions.

He said that any compensation claim against Iraq had to be settled through the United Nations, insisting: “No country has the right to ‘seize’ any other country’s assets outside international law.”

According to the January 15 UN resolution, “The requirement …that all proceeds from export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas from Iraq be deposited into the Development Fund for Iraq shall no longer apply” after June 30, 2011.

The resolution also indicated that 5 percent of the profits from all oil and gas exports be deposited into the compensation fund established in accordance with Security Council Resolution 687 (1991).

(Mustapha Ajbaili of Al Arabiya can be reached at: Mustapha.ajbaili@mbc.net)

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