Friday, September 14, 2007


Iraqi interior minister - Iraq 'unaware' of security barriers to be erected by neighbours

(Voices of Iraq) - Iraqi Interior Ministry said on Thursday that it has no information on the security barriers erected by neighbors Iran and Saudi Arabia along their borders with Iraq, describing such a move as "positive". "The erection of such security barriers would help prevent the infiltration of persons and trafficking of cars and vehicles that carry arms and explosives into Iraq," General Abdul Karim Khalaf, director of National Command Centre, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
Khalaf who denied having any information on these security barriers said "this move, if carried out, will have positive effects on Iraq and neighbors." Earlier on Thursday, a source from Basra police said that Iran had accomplished a large part of a security barrier along its borders with the southern Iraqi city of Basra. "The Iranians are building a barrier along the Iraqi-Iranian borders in Basra city," a source from al-Shalamja police told VOI. The source, who asked not to be named, added "the barrier is seven meters high and a large part of it has already been erected."
Meanwhile, the London-based al-Hayat newspaper said the Saudi government will continue building a security fence on the borders with Iraq, with its first stage finished by the end of 2009, to stop infiltration operations. The newspaper quoted General Mansour al-Turki as saying on Thursday, "The first stage envisages the northern borders. The project was announced with a tender and several qualified companies presented their bids to win the project."
The Kingdom invited five companies to bid for the contract to build a 560 mile-long security fence along its border with Iraq at a cost of up to 4 billion Riyals (USD 1.07 billion), officials from the competing companies said on Wednesday. "The winning company will be announced this year," he also said.
The contract calls for a double-lined, razor wire fence along the Kingdom's frontier with its northern neighbor, complete with thermal imaging and radar equipment. Saudi Interior Minister Naief Bin Abdul Aziz said last November that the fence has became very important for protecting the country's security.

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