Saudi–Iraqi neutral zone
The Saudi–Iraqi neutral zone was an area of 7,044 km² on the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq within which the border between the two countries had not been settled. The neutral zone came into existence following the Uqair Protocol of 1922 which defined the border between Iraq and the Sultanate of Nejd (Saudi Arabia's predecessor state). The neutral zone officially ended in 1981, when Iraq and Saudi Arabia agreed on the partition of the zone.
The Treaty of Muhammarah (Khorramshahr) of 5 May 1922, forestalled the imminent conflict between the United Kingdom, which held the mandate for Iraq, and the Kingdom of Nejd, which later became Saudi Arabia (when combined with the Kingdom of Hejaz). The treaty specifically avoided defining boundaries. Following further negotiations, the Protocol of Uqair (Uqayr), 2 December 1922, defined most of the borders between them and created the neutral zone.
Administrative division of the zone was achieved in 1975, and a border treaty[clarification needed] concluded in 1981. For unknown reasons the treaty was not filed with the United Nations and nobody outside Iraq and Saudi Arabia was notified of the change or shown maps with details of the new boundary. As the Gulf War approached in early 1991, Iraq cancelled all international agreements with Saudi Arabia since 1968. Saudi Arabia responded by registering all previous boundary agreements negotiated with Iraq at the United Nations in June 1991. Thus ended the legal existence of the Saudi–Iraqi neutral zone.
Most official maps no longer show the diamond-shaped neutral zone, but rather draw the border line approximately through the centre of the territory. For example, the United States Office of the Geographer regarded the area as only having an approximate boundary, rather than a precise one.
The Saudi–Iraqi neutral zone formerly had the ISO 3166-1 codes NT and NTZ. These codes were discontinued in 1993. The FIPS 10-4 code for the Saudi–Iraqi neutral zone was IY; that code was deleted in 1992.
- Geography of Iraq
- Geography of Saudi Arabia
- Unification of Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia – United Arab Emirates border dispute
- Saudi–Kuwaiti neutral zone
- "Saudi Arabia Background Note". US Department of State. September 1998.
- Office of the Geographer (1971-06-01). "International Boundary Study: Iraq – Saudi Arabia Boundary" (PDF). US Department of State. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Adams, Cecil (1991-02-01). "What's up with the "neutral zones" near Saudi Arabia?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Directorate of Intelligence (1990). "The World Factbook 1990 - Iraq - Saudi Arabia Neutral Zone (mirror)". Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Schofield, Richard. "Arabian Boundary disputes, Archive Editions". Archive Editions. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Directorate of Intelligence (1991). "The World Factbook 1991 - Iraq - Saudi Arabia Neutral Zone (mirror)". Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Law, Gwillim. "ISO 3166-1 Change History". Statoids. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- Law, Gwillim. "FIPS PUB 10 Change History". Statoids. Retrieved 2007-01-29.
- The Straight Dope on the Neutral Zone
- Arabian Boundary Disputes
- International Boundary Study No. 111
- International Frontier Treaty Between Saudi Arabia and Iraq splitting the Neutral Zone, July 2, 1975