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UNSC to examine Iraq-Kuwait issues, Syrian crisis

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UNSC to examine Iraq-Kuwait issues, Syrian crisis

Tuesday, 04 June, 2013

6-4-13 UNITED NATIONS, (KUNA) ­­ Security Council members are scheduled to be briefed at a session later on Tuesday about “progress Iraq made in its Chapter VII obligations” towards Kuwait as well as other crucial issues on the international stage.

Assistant Secretary ­General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez­ Taranco is charged with addressing the briefing, due to tackle in addition to the Kuwait­ Iraq topics, the proposed Geneva II Conference on Syria, the situation in Mali and the wider Sahel, diplomats said.

The “Horizon­ scanning” briefings are initiated by the UK, the current Council President for the month of June. (Note: UK is in charge of monitoring Iraq-Kuwait progress).

Fernandez ­Taranco will tell the Council that the Iraq­ Kuwait Boundary Maintenance Project concluded its work in March, and that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced on May 30 that Iraq and Kuwait had signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the maintenance of border signs, and agreed to form a joint committee to handle other related issues. Last month, the Council authorized the compensation of Iraqi citizens who had to be relocated, by agreeing to the transfer of compensation funds from the UN to the Iraqi government.

The Council is also scheduled to discuss the mandate of the High­Level Coordinator on Iraq­ Kuwait missing persons and property Gennady Tarasov who took another UN job at the end of last December.

Diplomats said Kuwait wrote letters to the Council President and Secretary­General Ban Ki­moon last week, indicating that it agreed “in principle” to having Tarasov’s mandate folded into the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Today’s Council deliberations are in preparation for the consultations on Iraq ­Kuwait issues scheduled for later this month when the Council is due to endorse Kuwait’s request, diplomats said.

Unrelated Issues UNSC will Address (Non Iraq)
Fernandez­ Taranco is also expected to brief the Council on the preparations underway by the US, Russia and Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who will meet tomorrow Wednesday in Geneva, on the proposed Geneva II Conference which has now been postponed till July to map out a political transition in Syria.

The Council will also hear a briefing about the humanitarian situation in Al­Qusayr, a contested town located
close to the Syrian­ Lebanese border, and the need to protect its civilians and to evacuate its wounded.

Al­Qusayr, located on a route linking central and northern Syria, has witnessed bitter fighting between troops of
Bahsar Al­Assad regime and opposition groups. Thousands of civilians have fled the town to safer areas but many others have remained inside it, are struggling to survive amid recurring bombardment with diminishing resources of necessities.

In a related matter, The Free Syrian Army sent a letter to the Security Council President late Monday to
complain that the siege of Al­Qusayr is being tightened, as the Iranian­backed Hezbollah forces continue to pour
across the Syrian­Lebanese border, and that the town’s 40,000 civilians remain trapped without food, water or medicine.
“We call for immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to Al­Qusayr in line with the request of the UN agencies and
the International Committee of the Red Cross.

We pledge our readiness to help ensuring safe passage of
humanitarian aid, and call upon the UN to pressure the Assad regime to halt its relentless assaults” on the town, Major General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army said in his letter. He also complained that Hezbollah is
“expanding its invasion” of Syria and is now present in “significant numbers” in the northern city of Aleppo as
well as in areas east and west of Damascus.

“We fear that the illegal involvement of this sectarian militia will destabilize the region. We request that the Security Council take firm action against their aggression. We demand that international pressure be exerted on the Lebanese government to enact measures to remove Hezbollah forces from Syrian territory lest we will be forced to turn our fight against the criminal Assad regime into an extended cross­border conflict,” he warned.

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