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MPs call for Kuwait mediation Sadness ... pain on Qatar rift

KUWAIT CITY, March 6: Several MPs have expressed concern over the decision of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar because the latter did not honor an agreement between the Gulf countries not to support anyone threatening the security and stability of the GCC.

The lawmakers also called on the Kuwaiti government to exercise restraint and act as mediator in finding a solution to the crisis. MP Talal Al-Jallal admitted he is saddened by the news which, he believes, the people of Kuwait received with sorrow and pain. He hopes that tranquility will prevail and everything will be back to normal among the GCC brothers soon. He urged Kuwait to play a pivotal role in addressing this crisis and in narrowing the gap between these countries to ensure the GCC returns to what it was before this incident. “I am confident that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will use his expertise and wisdom to contain the dispute between brothers in the GCC. What happened today is not in the interest of the GCC. I am confident this is just a passing cloud and the ambassadors will return to Qatar soon. What unites us is stronger than what divides us. We must work towards the unity of GCC and resolve thorny issues between member states through proper dialogue. In this manner, we will thwart the efforts of those who do not want any good for the GCC,” Al- Jallal asserted. MP Mohammad Tana said, “We will follow up the issue with deep concern and sadness. We trust our leaders’ capability to address the crisis, overcome differences and heal the rift between the Gulf brothers.

We are counting on all the Gulf states to act as peace brokers, led by Kuwait, in order to resolve the crisis and to disappoint those who are greedy and envious of our Gulf.” He thinks the incident will not shake the entity of GCC countries as it will only strengthen unity of their leaders, governments and people. He hopes for the success of diplomatic efforts to address the problem immediately, while stressing the need for wisdom and logic in dealing with the issue. MP Nabil Al-Fadel asked Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khalid to look into the number of trips made by the opposition members in Kuwait to Qatar. He said the minister will definitely discover that these people traveled to Qatar frequently and this raises a lot of questions. On another issue, Al-Fadel submitted a draft bill to regulate elections in the country, indicating the election is one of the main pillars of democracy through which each individual may freely express personal views and preferences. He said the electoral process has public and personal aspects; and the latter should not be influenced by tribal or sectarian ideas. Article One states that anyone who calls for, organizes or participates in an unofficial election for any governmental council or public welfare association, before the official date of the elections, will be sentenced to five years in jail maximum and fine of KD2,000 to KD5,000. The lawmaker added the same punishment will be applied on anyone who manipulates elections for tribal or sectarian gain.

Moreover, MP Askar Al-Enezi submitted a proposal to establish the air ambulance division in the Medical Emergency Department at the Ministry of Health. He said this will enable the department to use medically equipped helicopters in dealing with emergency cases in remote locations like the desert camping area. He also proposed upgrading of Kuwaiti borders through the establishment of vital facilities; such as hotels, restaurants, waiting areas for passengers and mosques. He added there should be separate customs counters for travel and commercial purposes; emphasizing the importance of developing the borders as they are entry points to the country.

Meanwhile, the Educational Affairs Committee was supposed to discuss the proposed extension of the deadline to complete Al-Shadadiya University on Thursday but it was postponed until Sunday. Committee Chairman MP Humoud Al- Hamdan explained the panel had a meeting with the government representatives, including Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmed Al-Mulaifi, to look into the proposal to amend Article Five of law number 30/2004 on Al- Shadadiya University City project; but they later decided to postpone deliberations until next week and the committee asked the government to present the timetable for the project in the upcoming meeting. He added the committee’s agenda included draft bill on compulsory education, particularly the recommendation to impose harsher punishment on those who will neglect the education of children but the minister also requested for postponement of discussions in this regard. On the other hand, Al-Mulaifi explained the Al-Shadadiya University draft bill was presented to the Parliament in 2004 and it will end this year, so the government decided to extend the date in order to avoid problems related to expenditures and execution of the contract. He then praised the committee members for their cooperation and concern over this vital developmental project. He pointed out every Kuwaiti family is looking forward to having a university that will bring honor to the country and its people. He also agreed with the committee on the need for the technical body to present the target completion date for the project in a transparent way, clarifying that there is no a specific date yet for the completion of the project as a whole; only the deadl

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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