Geography • People • Government • Economy • Human Rights • Historical Background of Modern Kuwait • TheGulfWars • Foreignrelations of Kuwait
Formal name KuwaitorTheState of Kuwait • Location Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia • Land boundaries total: 462 km bordercountries: Iraq 240 km, SaudiArabia 222 km • Climate dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters • Natural resources petroleum, fish, shrimp, naturalgas
People • Population 2,692,526 country comparison to the world: 139(July 2009 est.) • Populationgrowthrate 3.549% country comparison to the world: 4(2009 est.) • Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.71 years country comparison to the world: 52(2009 est.) • Ethnicgroups Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7% • Religions Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15% • Languages Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Government • Governmenttype Kuwait is a constitutionalemirate(monarchy), governed by the al-Sabah family. • Capital name: KuwaitCity • Administrativedivisions 6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir • Constitution approved and promulgated 11November 1962 • Legal system civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executivebranch Chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); CrownPrince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah Head of government: Prime Minister NASIR AL-MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 3 April 2007) First Deputy Prime Minister :JABIR AL-MUBAREK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006) Deputy Prime Minister: MUHAMMAD AL-SABAH al-Salim al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006) Elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appointsthe prime ministeranddeputy prime ministers.
Legislativebranch UnicameralNational Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) Elections: last held 16 May 2009 (next election to be held in 2013) • Judicialbranch High Court of Appeal • Politicalpartiesandleaders None; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law • International organizationparticipation: ABEDA, AfDB (nonregionalmember), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Economy • GDP (purchasingpowerparity) $150.2 billion (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 58 • GDP - percapita (PPP) $55,800 (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 7 • Unemployment rate: 2.2% (2004 est.) country comparison to the world: 18 • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.7% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 153
Agriculture - products: practically no crops; fish • Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials • Oil - production: 2.741 million bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 9 • Oil - exports: 2.349 million bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 7 • Natural gas - production: 12.7 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 37 • Exports - commodities: oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners: Japan 18.4%, South Korea 14.6%, India 11.5%, US 8.9%, Singapore 7.9%, China 6.1% (2008) • Imports - commodities: food, constructionmaterials, vehiclesandparts, clothing • Imports - partners: US 11.9%, Japan 9.2%, Germany 8.1%, China 7.6%, SaudiArabia 7%, Italy 4.8%, UK 4.2% (2008)
Human Rights • Human Trafficking In June 2007, Kuwait became among the worst offenders in human trafficking according to a report issued by the United States Department of State. Becausemigrantworkers wereplaced under the sponsor system which puts them under the mercy of their employers restricting their movement which has been widely described as "modern day slavery". • Alcohol As an Islamic State, alcohol is forbidden in Kuwait, although it's available on the black market. Drinking or carrying alcohol in public is illegal. • Women's Rights In June 2007 the National Assembly of Kuwait unanimously passed a law to restrict the hours that women are allowed to work. The law bars women from working between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am with an exception forwomen working in the medical profession. Women are also prohibited from jobs that "contravene with public morals" and that require women to be in otherwise all-male environments.
Press According to the 2004 full report, Kuwait ranks among the most free countries in the Middle East for the press, but there is still widespread self-censorship of local and foreign press, and certain subjects are understood to be taboo. Private media enjoys a great deal of freedom in Kuwait, yet is subject to governmental sanctions for violating news and publication laws. The press is economically dependent on state financial subsidies. ArabicdailynewspapersfromKuwaitinclude: Al-Rai Ala-Am ( PublicOpinion ); Al-Seyassah ( Policy ), Al-Qabas ( Starbrand ), Al-Watan ( The Home-land ), Al-Anbas ( The News ), Al Dostoor Newspaperspublished in English includetheKuwait Times , KuwaitToday , Arab Times ,The Washington Post is alsoreceived in Kuwait.
Historical Background of Modern Kuwait • Kuwait was founded in the early eighteenth century by members of the BaniUtbah tribe in the year 1705. • In the first half of the eighteenth century, the great grandfather's of theAl-Khalifa , Al-Sabah , and Al-Jalahma arrived at KuwaitmigratedfromNajd. • Peace in a region dominated by the Bani Khalid, as well as internal problems that kept other regional powers from interfering, allowed the Al Khalifa, Al-Sabah, and Al Jalahma to develop new maritime skills. • Trade became the basis of the economy and the Al Khalifa, Al-Sabah,and Al Jalahma developed new political and social arrangements to organize life in a settled economy.
One tradition has it that political preeminencewent to the Sabahs as part of an explicit agreement: in 1716, the heads of the al-Khalifa, al-Sabah, and al-Jalahima agreed to give the Sabahs preeminence in government and military affairs, subject to consultation, while the Khalifas controlled local commerce and the Jalahima maritime affairs. • In 1762, Sabah I died and was succeeded by his youngest son, Abdullah. • Shortly after Sabah's death, in 1766, the al-Khalifa and, soon after, the al-Jalahima, left Kuwait en masse for Zubara in Qatar. • Their emigration left the Sabahs in undisputed control, and by the end ofAbdullah I's long rule (1762–1812), Sabah rule was secure, and the political hierarchy in Kuwait was well established.
Sabah family rule, though well established, remained limited until well into the 20th century. • Although Kuwait was nominally governed from Basra, the Kuwaitis had traditionally maintained a relative degree of autonomous status; their cultural integration with the emirates of the Persian Gulf formed a network of tribal and trade relationships stronger than the tie to Ottoman Iraq. • In May 1896, Shaikh Muhammad Al-Sabah was assassinated by his half-brother, Mubarak, who, in early 1897, was recognized, by the Ottoman sultan, as the qaimmaqam (provincial sub-governor) of Kuwait. • In July 1897, Mubarak invited the British to deploy gunboats along the Kuwaiti coast. This led to what is known as the First Kuwaiti Crisis, in which the Ottomans demanded that the British stop interfering with their empire. In the end, the Ottoman Empire backed down, rather than go to war.
In January 1899, Mubarak signed an agreement with the British which pledged that Kuwait would never cede any territory nor receive agents or representatives of any foreign powerwithout the British Government's consent. • In 1915, Mubarak the Great died and was succeeded by his son Jaber II Al-Sabah, who reigned for just over one year until his death in early 1917. His brother Sheikh Salim Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah succeeded him. • Despite the Kuwaiti government's desire to either be independent or under British rule, in the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913, the British concurred with the Ottoman Empire in defining Kuwait as an "autonomous caza" of the Ottoman Empire and that the Shaikhs of Kuwait were not independent leaders, but rather qaimmaqams (provincial sub-governors) of the Ottoman government.
After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was defeated and the British invalidated the Anglo-Ottoman Convention, declaring Kuwait to be an independent sheikhdom under British protectorate. • On April 1, 1923, Shaikh Ahmad al-Sabah wrote the British Political Agent in Kuwait, Major John More, "I still do not know what the border between Iraq and Kuwait is, I shall be glad if you will kindly give me this information." • On April 19, British government statedthattheyrecognized the outer line of the Convention as the border between Iraq and Kuwait. This decision limited Iraq's access to thePersian Gulf . At theendthe border was re-recognized in 1932. • The discovery of oil in Kuwait, in 1938, revolutionized the sheikdom's economy and made it a valuable asset to Britain. In 1941 on the same day as the German invasion of Russia (June 22) the British took total control over Iraq and Kuwait.
By early 1961, the British had withdrawn their special court system and the Kuwaiti Government began to exercise legal jurisdiction under new laws drawn up by an Egyptian jurist. On June 19, 1961, Kuwait became fully independent following an exchange of notes with the United Kingdom. • The 1962 Constitution gives executive powers to the Emir as the Head of State. Legislative powers are entrusted to the National Assemby (Majlis Al-Umma) which is elected every four years. The Emir exercises his executive powers through the Council of Ministers. The Constitution gives the Emir the right to dissolve the National Assembly and the Emir has exercised this prerogative four times (in 1976, 1986, 1999 and 2006)
Kuwait enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity under Amir Sabah al-Salim Al Sabah, who died in 1977 after ruling for 12 years. • Under his rule, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement dividing the Neutral Zone (now called the Divided Zone) and demarcating a new international boundary. Both countries share equally the Divided Zone's petroleum, onshore and offshore. • Afterthat timecountry was transformed into a highly developed welfare state with a free market economy. • Kuwait's troubled relationship with neighboring Iraq formed the core of its foreign policy from late 1980s onwards. Its first major foreign policy problem arose when Iraq claimed Kuwaiti territory.
Thereasons of GulfWarswerethat ; • Kuwaitstartedtoloweroilpriceafter Iran- iraqwar. Thus, causedtodecreasetheoilrevenues of Iraq. • Kuwaitrefusedtoerasethedept of IraqwhichwasgiventotheIraqbyKuwaitduringthe Iran- IraqWar. • During late July of 1990 Saddam built up his military forces on the border with Kuwait. At 1:00 a.m. on 02 August, three Iraqi divisions of the elite Republican Guard rolled over the border. Resistance was nearly non-existent. • In spite of its often unstable nature, most of the world was shocked by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwiat. • Iraq justified the move primarily on the grounds that Kuwait was once a part of Iraq and should be again. • it was also a power play by Iraq, an effort to annex some of the worlds richest oil fields.
Once the Republican Guard had secured all of the strategic points in the country, it moved to the Kuwait/Saudi border. The Saudis were alarmed. • King Fahd of Saudi Arabia recognized his situation as dire and immediately requested aid from his most powerful friend and ally, the United States. • President Bush promptly ordered the deployment of U.S. ground and air forces to Saudi territory. U.S. Navy ships were also deployed to the region. "Desert Shield’’ operation started. • US had tramendous benefits from that operation. • Iraq had been vigorous in developing weapons of mass destruction. There was no question that they had chemical weapons. More ominously, they showed no compunction about using their chemical weapons. (Halapje massacre).
Saddam Hussein's move into Iraq was so alarming that it galvanized most of the nations in the region to send troops to Saudi Arabia to help oppose the Iraqi build up. • United Nations felt compelled to condemn Iraq and to request an immediate withdrawal of troops from Kuwait. • The United Nations would eventually authorize allied use of force in order to forcibly expel Iraq from Kuwait. • On 30 January 1991 the 15th Iraqi Mechanized Infantry Brigade attacked across the border a small town,Al-Khafji, in Saudi Arabia. • Operation Desert Shield was meant to defend Saudi Arabia, but in January of 1991 President Bush, advised by Collin Powell and the Joint Chiefs of Staff determined to go on the offensive and take the war to the Iraqis. • Air War - Operation Desert Storm started. • As is usual in modern war, the first objective of the allied force in Saudi Arabia was to gain air superiority.
The air campaign against Iraq was launched 16 January 1991, the day after the United Nations deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait expired. • In an effort to demonstrate their own air offensive capability, on 24 January the Iraqis attempted to mount a strike against the major Saudi oil refinery in Abqaiq. • Afterharshairattack of alliedforcestheIraqiforceswereneutrialized. • By late February the Coalition forces were ready to kick off the ground campaign. • As coalition forces moved to completely cut off thelast avenue of Iraq’sretreatfromKuwait, Allied leaders, including George Bush and Collin Powell determined that the Allied objective had been all but accomplished. • At theendIraqlostthegame..
Theresults of war; • Itstrengthenedthe US position in theMiddle East. • It proved that U.S. technology and U.S. military doctrine is a potent force when applied to the world stage. • KuwaitandSaudiArabiagotrid of fear of Iraqinvasion. • ItwasseenthatallotherMiddle East countrieswereopposedtorelativelypowerfullIraq in theregion. • Thiswaralsoencouraged Saddam toproceedproduction of chemicalandnuclearweapons. • Itpromoted a relativelypowerful Iran in theMiddle East. • Lastly, thiswarpromtedtheKuwaitandSaudiArabiatohelp US duringthe US-IraqWar. • Kuwait has spent more than five billion dollars to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990–1991.
ForeignRelations of Kuwait • Iraq On April 25, 2007, Kuwaiti lawmaker SalehAshour called in a statement for reopening Kuwait's embassy in Baghdad and for strongly supporting the government in Baghdad. İt wassaidthat it is too early to reopen the Kuwaiti embassy in Baghdad and that this issue should wait until security situations improve. • SaudiArabia Although Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are strong allies and cooperate within OPEC and the GCC, Riyadh disputes Kuwait's ownership of the Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands. • Yemen As a member of the UN Security Council in 1990 and 1991, Yemen abstained on a number of resolutions concerning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and voted against the "use of force resolution." Kuwait responded by canceling aid programs, cutting diplomatic contact, and expelling thousands of Yemeni workers.
İndia Kuwait is India's second largest supplier of crude oil and non-oil bilateral trade was over one billion US dollars in 2008. • Pakistan After the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 Pakistani army engineers were involved in a programme of mine clearance in the country. Kuwait was also the first country to send aid to isolated mountain villages in Kashmir after the quake of 2005, also offering the largest amount of aid in the aftermath of the quake ($100m).
United States Strategic cooperation between the United States and Kuwait increased in 1987 with the implementation of a maritime protection regime that ensured the freedom of navigation through the Persian Gulf for 11 Kuwaiti tankers that were reflagged with U.S. markings. The U.S.-Kuwaiti strategic partnership intensified dramatically again after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Kuwait and the United States worked on a daily basis to monitor and to enforce Iraq's compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and Kuwait has also provided the main platform for «Operation Iraqi Freedom»since 2003. Kuwait also is an important partner in the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against international terrorism, providing assistance in the military, diplomatic, and intelligence arenas and also supporting efforts to block financing of terrorist groups.
Turkey The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey describes the current relations at "outstanding levels". Bilateral trade between the two countries is around 275 Million dollars. The two countries have recently signed fifteen agreements for cooperation in tourism, health, environment, economy, commercial exchange and oil. Nihat AKBALIK 20615686