Probe demanded into suspicion of graft in tenders
KUWAIT CITY, July 16, (KUNA): The Cabinet Monday assigned its Economic Committee to implement recent agreements signed with China without delay, while urging private sector to make use of positive opportunities of these deals.
The Cabinet, chaired by Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at Seif Palace, said the private sector should “deal in a positive and serious manner with outcome” of the agreements in a drive to have common benefits, Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said in a statement after the meeting.
The agreements were signed during His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s official visit to China. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled commended His Highness the Amir’s vision during his visit, praising its outcome which aimed at establishing strategic partnership as well as cementing economic and political relations and cooperation. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said Kuwait enjoyed economic and commercial potentials that enabled it to be a haven for investment in the north of the Arabian Gulf.
The Cabinet meanwhile reviewed outcome of talks between His Highness the Amir and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which focused on establishment of strategic partnership. The two countries signed seven agreements during the visit. His Highness the Amir also participated in the China-Arab Cooperation Forum.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on consultation and coordination over regional and international issues, as well as boosting strategic collaboration on Belt and Road Initiative to honor Kuwait’s 2035 vision. They signed a protocol on defense industry, aimed at promoting cooperation in purchase and transfer of equipment, spare-parts and raw materials related to weaponry and technology, joint research and development, and providing logistic and technical support for military equipment.
They signed framework agreement for cooperation in planning for the Silk City, five islands of Kuwait, energy, transport infrastructure, and improving domestic and regional transport networks. Kuwait and China signed e-commerce agreement to encourage sustainable development, explore possible e-commerce opportunities, support trade in high-quality products, create conducive environment to develop communications over trade-related policies and training, in addition to providing jobs and development SMEs.
They signed an MoU to encourage direct investment, designed to empowering business communities to develop exhibitions and activities to expand direct investment cooperation
Meanwhile, the Cabinet asked Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Services Affairs to open an investigation into suspicions of corruption in tenders in the Ministry of Communication.
This came after Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh briefed the ministers on a memo submitted by Central Agency for Public Tenders on this matter. Al-Saleh also appraised the Cabinet of the Ministry of Information’s inaction to sign a contract regarding a tender, so the Cabinet assigned Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs to probe this case. The Cabinet asked the minister to refer the file to the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) in case corruption is confirmed.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Sabah Khaled briefed the Cabinet about outcome of a meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter the socalled Islamic State (IS), which took place at NATO headquarters. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said participants discussed means of boosting cooperation among coalition members to confront IS, Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said in a statement.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said this cooperation ultimately aimed at achieving peace and security in the Middle East. Sheikh Sabah Khaled attended the meeting at the invitation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The participants discussed the latest efforts to fight IS, and ways of supporting stability in Iraq and the entire region.
Addressing the meeting, the Kuwaiti minister hailed the international coalition members’ efforts and effective participation in a ministerial meeting held in Kuwait on February 13, 2018. He pointed to world wars and armed conflicts that have affected societies and peoples, adding that it is the shared responsibility of all member states to address relevant ramifications.
The Cabinet, condemned terrorist explosions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, reaffirming rejection to all forms of violence and terrorism. The government also regretted the fl oods in Japan that killed many people while others still missing. The government extended condolences for the government and families of the victims. The Cabinet, meanwhile, welcomed a declaration of peace and friendship between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which would address disputes between the two countries thus achieve peace and good neighborliness.