Saudi Arabia–United Arab Emirates border dispute
The border dispute with the United Arab Emirates was apparently resolved with the Treaty of Jeddah (officially entitled "Agreement on the delimitation of boundaries (with exchange of letters and map)") which was signed at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 21 August 1974. The provisions of the treaty were not publicly disclosed until 1995, when it was lodged with the United Nations. However, the UAE has yet to ratify the agreement.
The Jeddah Agreement granted Saudi Arabia a 25 km corridor eastwards from Khawr al Udayd, thus giving the Saudis an outlet to the Persian Gulf on the eastern side of Qatar. In return, the UAE was to keep six villages in the area of Al Buraimi, including al-Ain, and most of al-Zafra desert. Article 3 of the agreement stated that “all hydrocarbons in the Shaybah-Zarrara field shall be considered as belonging to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” and provided for exploration and development of the whole field by Saudi Arabia. Article 4 stipulated that Saudi Arabia and the UAE “each undertake to refrain from engaging in and from permitting the exploitation of hydro-carbons in that part of its territory to which the hydrocarbon fields primarily located in the territory of the other state extend."
In 2005, there were concerns that the border dispute might flare up again. Some maps published in the UAE still reportedly show the country stretching as far westwards as Qatar The UAE publicly reopened the dispute in 2006, claiming some lost territory. It might be argued that the 1974 agreement is of questionable validity in terms of international law. It has never been published, nor was it ratified by the UAE Federal National Council, a crucial step to make the agreement binding on the parties. Nor was Qatar, which suddenly discovered it no longer had a land border with the UAE, even a party to the negotiations, although Qatar had in fact made a separate agreement on its border with Saudi Arabia in 1965.
- Schofield R., Evans K.E. (eds) Arabian Boundaries: New Documents (2009), vol. 15, pp. viii–xv.
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- see e.g. this map on a UAE website: http://www.uaeinteract.com/uaeint_misc/pdf_2006/English_2006/eyb3.pdf
- Text of the treaty in Arabic, English, and French
- Arabian Boundary disputes
- Morton, Michael Quentin (2013), Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia), IB Tauris