Iran invites Kuwait's foreign minister to Tehran for gas-field talks

Offshore Durra gas field is a source of tension between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Salem Abdullah Al Sabah in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday.  EPA
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Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Sabah has been invited to Tehran for an official visit to ease tensions over the offshore Durra gas field.

Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are locked in a dispute because all three countries claim a stake in the gas field.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait say they have exclusive joint rights to the field, while Iran also claims a stake and says a Saudi-Kuwaiti agreement to develop it, signed last year, is illegal.

Sheikh Salem was given the invitation when he received Iran's new ambassador, Mohammad Totonchi, according to a ministry statement.

"During the meeting, they discussed all aspects of Kuwaiti-Iranian relations," the statement said.

The invitation comes as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on Thursday said that they are the only states with rights to the natural resources in Durra gas field.

It said the countries “alone have full sovereign rights to exploit the wealth in that area", the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.

They also renewed calls for Iran to negotiate the eastern boundary of the area.

The kingdom's statement was published after Tehran announced that it was ready to explore the field.

Last month, Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said there was “full preparation to start drilling in the joint Arash oilfield. Considerable resources have been allocated to the implementation of the development plan for this field”.

In another development, Iran's Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian is expected to visit Japan on Sunday and meet his Japanese counterpart and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

During Mr Abdollhian's Tokyo visit, Japan is expected to tell Iran to stop supplying weapons to Russia, Japan's broadcaster TBS reported on Friday.

Updated: August 04, 2023, 12:32 PM