Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
38 IETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 5, 1973 0 Miles 40 IRAN Basra1 IRAQ Urn Qasr' fll Jahrah Warbah I 'Bubiyan I Kuwait Persian Gulf iMina .ai Ahmadi JF Kuwait: NEAREST THING TO EARTHLY PARADISE ears By JOHN K. COOLEY Christian Science Monitor KUWAIT Inhabitants of this little desert oil state have the highest per capita income in the world, and an abundance of everything from telephone calls to university classes without cost Nonethelesss its rulers are nervous about the uncertain- ties, of the Persian Gulf oil and power game and the re- lated Arab Israel conflict. Next to Saudi Arabia and Iran, Kuwait sits on the biggest pool of oil in the Gulf area, about 65 billion barrels in re- serves, larger than those of her somewhat threatening neighbor, Iraq, which has never renounced an old forma! claim to Kuwait's entire territory. Kuwait imposed production euros last >ear to spare its oil reserves Its Parliament has resolved to cut off oil to Israel's Western friends if Arab-Israel hostilities begin again. One member of Parliament has pointedly suggested that explo- sive charges be planted in the oil fields for quick detonation when fighting breaks out. Politics takes a close second in interest to commerce in this bustling merchant city. There are believed to be as many as Palestinians among the state's total of resi- dents. Many are in top execu- tive positions in oil, banks, and business. Their militancy toward Israel is reflected in the Parliament, the political debates that take place in torrid sidewalk cafes and air-coaditioned offices, and in the state's remarkably free press. The ruler, Sheikh Sabah al- Salem al-Sabah, keeps a wary eye on Iraq, whose forces brief- ly attacked the border last March 20. When asked to do so, he tries to use his good offices in the many inter-Arab dis- putes. Kuwait, like Saudi Arabia, supports Egypt financially, but withdrew similar subsidies worth about million a year from Jordan when King Hus- sein crushed the Palestine guer- rillas in 1970-1971. It has not re- newed them, and the United States has been picking up the tab for more than the differ- ence in its financial aid to Jor- dan. Though the U.S. has announc- ed it would be willing to sell F-4 Phantom jet fighter bomb- ers to both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait has privately in- dicated a lack of enthusiasm Its officials have shown pub- lic indignation about any deal in which nontransfer clauses are included; it has already trans- ferred about a squadron of Brit- ish-made Lightning fighters to Egypt and is training Egyptian pilots on them here. Kuwait is, in fact, now ac- tively considering of light British or French fighter aircraft, perhaps the Anglo- French Jaguar, for its air de- fense, though the U.S. wants it to buy Northrop F-5's instead. What worries Kuwait chiefly is the Iraqi claim to Bubiyan and Warbah, a large and a small offshore island, respec- tively, and to another mainland area south of Urn Qasr, Iraq's naval port on the Gulf. Abdullah al-Tariki, a former Saudi oil minister who has be- come an oil consultant identi- fied with radical Arab inter- ests, is the unofficial mediator between Iraq and Kuwait. When Iraqi officers tried an unsuc- cessful coup against the Bathist (Arab socialist) regime in Baghdad recently 35 were executed and others still face trial Kuwaitis asked them- selves if this might spell new trouble from them, and Mr. Tariki was asked to arrange cew meetings Kuwait is now believed ready to offer Iraq the lease of War- bah Island plus some oil properties. The Kuwait Oil Company, composed of British Petroleum and Gulf Oil Corpor- ation of the U.S., received aa Iraqi warning against drilling in the area adjoining Iraq's giant Rumaila oil fields. Kuwait would like to see the border demarcated. It has also long wanted to buy from Iraq half a million gallons of fresh water daily from the Shatt al- Arab water boundary of Iraq and Iran. Though the Shah of Iran has offered Iranian help in case of a new Iraqi attack, Kuwaitis are not a little nervous about Iran's arms buildup. "What can they possibly want to do with all that power, if not to dominate the Arab side of the they ask. As for oil, Kuwait's acting deputy oil and finance minister says last year's participation agreements giving producer governments gradually increas- ing shares in company opera- tions are already a dead letter. But Kuwait is carefully watching developments in coun- tries like Libya and Iraq, where the governments have taken, or are in the process of acquir- ing, from 51 per cent to 100 per cent control of the Western companies. warmed urion pile for Pile on the piaid and you're ready for the great outdoors. Warm! Orion acrylic pile lining makes sure of that. 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