Bahrain stressed intention to keep the islands under conflict
Bahrain-Qatar, Politics, 6/9/2000
Bahrain has asserted its determination to keep Hawar islands despite Qatar's demands to have this island back. This was during the first day of sessions before the International Court for Justice held on Thursday in the Hague.
Bahrain's representative Jawad Salem said that Bahrain was ready for all possibilities over these islands which are situated near the Qatari coasts, out of fears that Doha will try to occupy them.
He added " had not we strengthened our presence in Hawar islands, Qatar would have undoubtedly occupied them.
He remarked that giving Qatar the rights to these islands means depriving Bahrain from almost one third of its lands.
On May 29, representatives for Qatar and Bahrain started in the Hague five weeks of oral sessions which will be ended by June 29 before the International Court of Justice will issue its decision over the border conflict during a period estimated between 4 to 6 weeks.
Worthy mentioning that the decision of the 15 judges at the UN- International Court of Justice in the Hague is definite and therefore all sides concerned should abide by the result.
The secretary general of the state of Qatar Abdullah Bin Abdul Latif al-Musilmani said upon opening the session by the end of May " it has been always Qatar's wish to find out a just and durable solution" for this border dispute which goes back to more than 60 years.
The dispute, however, is over Doha's demand to have sovereignty over the islands of Hawar, Fashat al-Dubble which are rich in oil and gas in the Arab Gulf region, islands which are controlled by Manama, while Manama demands to seize al-Zabbara area on the Qatari coast.
On July 1991, Doha resorted to the International Court of Justice unilaterally, noting that the dispute still existed since border demarcation under the British colonialism in the Gulf, which ended two decades ado.
In 1986 this border conflict nearly changed to a confrontation, but a personal mediation by the Saudi King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz had defused the crisis then.
In February this year, the two states decided, following a meeting for the joint higher committee, chaired by the two states crown princes, to restore relations to normalcy. Since then, the two states exchanged ambassadors and resumed direct air flights between them.
On May 19 Bahrain suspended its participation in a joint higher committee in charge of settling the border conflict amicable, after accusing Qatar of keeping its complaint over the question of the borders before the international court of justice.
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Court trial begins for border and islands sovereignty disputes between Qatar and Bahrain; Background
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