Thu 1 May, 2003 01:19 pm
The globe I had as a student in the '60's and '70's showed two lozenge-shaped 'neutral zones', one between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and one between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. What was the reason for these zones, and how and when did they get annexed (and by which country)?
Don't have a clue, but here's an unsubstantiated hint; as recently as the first Gulf War, and possibly continuing to the present, there was supposed to be a strip of land between Saudi Arabia and Iraq kept open for Bedouin caravan travel. I can't prove this, but it's something I recall from years ago. It may be related to what was once labeled neutral territory.
"oundaries with Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait were established by a series of treaties negotiated in the 1920s, with two "neutral zones"--one with Iraq and the other with Kuwait--created. The Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone was administratively partitioned in 1971, with each state continuing to share the petroleum resources of the former zone equally. Tentative agreement on the partition of the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone was reached in 1981, and partition was finalized by 1983."
Another WWW site I had found mentioned that the neutral zones were created because of waring between different factions in the area while Kuwait was still a British protectorate in the early 1920s.