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The Lost “Two-Thirds”: Kuwait's Territorial Decline between 1913 and 1922
This paper analyses the formation of the Kuwait-Saʿudi boundary, particularly focusing on the period between the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 and the ʿUqair Conference of 1922. Specifically, it seeks to understand how and why ‘two-thirds’ of the territory allotted to Kuwait in the former agreement became part of the territory of present-day Saʿudi Arabia in the latter. The various factors that led to the decline of Kuwait's territorial fortunes are explored, with particular focus given to the growing enmity between the Al Sabah and the Najdi ruler Abdulaziz ibn Saʿud from 1913 onwards. Though this subject may not be entirely new to Gulf historiography, this paper re-examines the developments that led to the drawing of the Kuwait-Najd boundary of 1922 from the perspective of a loss of territory for the al-Sabah rather than the expansion of territory for the Al Saʿud.