Saudi–Kuwaiti neutral zone

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The Saudi–Kuwait Neutral Zone
(2 December 1922 – 18 January 1970).
(Established by the Uqair Convention of December 1922.)

The Saudi–Kuwaiti neutral zone, also known as the Divided Zone, was an area of 5,770 km2 (2,230 sq mi) between the borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that was left undefined when the border was established by the Uqair Convention of 2 December 1922.

In the area, which was later called the "Neutral Zone" or "Divided Zone", the Uqair Convention stated that "the Government of Najd and Kuwait will share equal rights until through the good offices of the Government of Great Britain a further agreement is made between Najd and Kuwait concerning it".

However, there was little interest in a more definitive settlement in the so-called "Neutral Zone" until the discovery, in 1938, of oil in the Burgan (Burqan) of Kuwait. With the possibility of oil discovery within the "Neutral Zone" itself, concessions were granted in 1948–1949 by each government to private companies. Later the two countries exploited the oil under a joint operating agreement.

In 1957, Saudi Arabia signed a concession agreement with the Japanese-owned Arab Oil Co., and Kuwait signed in 1958. That concession expired in 2000.[1]

The partitioning negotiations commenced shortly after the rulers of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia met and decided, in October 1960, that the Neutral Zone should be divided. On 7 July 1965, the two governments signed an agreement (which took effect on 25 July 1966) to partition the Neutral Zone adjoining their respective territories. A demarcation agreement dividing the Neutral Zone was signed on 17 December 1967 but did not formally take effect until the exchange of instruments and signing which took place in Kuwait on 18 December 1969.[2] Ratification followed on 18 January 1970, and the agreement was published in the Kuwaiti Official Gazette on 25 January 1970.

The zone was never assigned an ISO 3166 code since it was partitioned before the adoption of ISO 3166 in 1974.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Al-Naimi, Ali (2016). Out of the Desert. Great Britain: Portfolio Penguin. pp. 173, 234–236. ISBN 9780241279250.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-01-09. Retrieved 2005-12-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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