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Thikra clarifies recruiting her sister, brother as consultants Finmin confirms news Kuwait to acquire UK tower for £1.5b

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18: The Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance Sheikh Salem Al- Abdulaziz Al-Sabah confirmed news item published by Britain’s Times newspaper regarding an offer of 1.5 billion pounds sterling Kuwait has made to acquire More London Tower, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. The minister was responding to the parliamentary question filed by MP Hamdan Al-Azmi when he explained that the proposal to purchase the tower is in the framework of Kuwait Investment Authority’s investment strategy, as the body manages future generations fund for global investments and realestate. However, the minister declined to divulge the value of the deal, indicating it will cause more harm than good if any information on the offer is divulged by Kuwait before the end of negotiations. As regards information on Kuwait Investment Authority’s intention to invest US$ 5 billion in Britain’s infrastructure in the next 3-5 years, the minister denied the allegation, but was quick to say ‘’there is no problem with Kuwait investing in Britain’s assets if the opportunity is suitable to invest in that field’’. He stated Kuwait Investment Authority has several investments in Kuwait, as it allotted a billion dinar for real-estate investment here, in addition to investment fund worth KD 1.5 billion for the stock market, with several other joint development companies like Border Warehouse Company, media city, medical insurance company, among others. Meanwhile, MP Al-Azmi indicated the British Times had reported that Kuwait made an offer of 1.5 billion pounds to purchase More London Complex which is next to the Tower Bridge that houses the office of London mayor, indicating negotiation is underway to procure the complex owned by St Martins Holding Company.

He also said Kuwait Investment Authority is to invest US$ 5 billion in Britain’s infrastructure in the next 3-5 years, wondering why the government is investing huge sums of public funds in a foreign land and does not embark on serious initiatives of this kind locally. He reiterated that government is first to fight the transfer of investments to other countries, and the first to contradict itself on the same issue, forgetting that such investments could benefit our youths in employment, as well as the future of our country.

In the meantime, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thikra Al-Rashidi clarified in an official statement sent to the National Assembly that her sister Bushra and brother Waleed were recruited as consultants in her office, report Al-Jaridah daily.

Replying to the query submitted by MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji, she refuted that she showed nepotism through the recruitment of her family members. She explained that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) agreed to recruit her sister as a consultant in the field of Social Welfare, as she has 25 years of experience and holds a Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration. She went on to explain that CSC agreed to recruit her brother as a consultant in the Legal Research Council because he holds a Masters’ degree in Law and meets all the allotted conditions.

Regarding Mariam Al-Nomas, the minister clarified that she is not a relative but a retired Kuwaiti citizen whose experience qualifies her to undertake the duties in her office, adding that CSC agreed to recruit her in the position. She stressed that no minister is in the position to recruit any person for any post. However, ministers can ask CSC to agree the recruitment of the individuals nominated by them, as they have the right to nominate five people. She added that CSC approves only those nominees who meet the allotted legal conditions.

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