Comments from the information ministry come amid an ongoing dispute over the Divided Zone
- Information ministry says it has not banned Al-Hayat newspaper
- Al-Hayat had published articles critical of Kuwaiti officials
- Relations between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have deteriorated due to a dispute over the Divided Zone
Kuwait has denied reports that it has banned Al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned daily newspaper that has run articles critical of Kuwaiti government officials.
The reports that have been circulated on Kuwait imposing a ban on Al-Hayat are not true and lacked credibility, said Shamekh al-Rasheedi, the head of public relations at Kuwaits Information Ministry, through state-controlled Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) on 6 August.
It had been reported that Kuwait had banned the newspaper over articles about the countrys dispute with Saudi Arabia over the Divided Zone, a hydrocarbon-rich region that is shared by the two countries.
Since October, two oil fields have been shut in the region reducing production from more than 500,000 barrels a day (b/d) to zero.
Contractors have blamed the shutdown on an ongoing dispute about land use in the area.
The dispute escalated earlier August when private correspondence between Kuwaits Oil Minister Ali al-Omar and Saudi Arabias Petroleum & Mineral Resources Minister Ali al-Naimi was leaked to Kuwaiti newspapers.
The leaked letter revealed that Al-Omar had accused his counterpart of acting unilaterally to close the Khafji oil field and violating an agreement between the two countries.