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Saturday , December 7 2019

‘OCCUPIER, KILLERS OF CHILDREN … GRAB YOUR BAGS AND LEAVE’ – Applause as Speaker takes on Israel

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim gesturing to the Israeli delegation (not in picture) to get out of the hall hosting the IPU conference in St Petersburg, Russia.

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 18: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim sternly told the Israeli delegation that participated in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference Wednesday to leave after hearing the latter’s comments on the Palestinian lawmakers languishing in jail.

Kuwait’s chief lawmaker fi ercely replied to the Israeli parliament representative’s comments on imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers at an international conference on Wednesday. “The saying ‘if you have no shame do as you please’ applies to the comments made by this rapist (Israeli) parliament,” Al-Ghanim told lawmakers gathered at Inter-Parliamentary Union talks. During a discussion on the state of Palestinian lawmakers arrested by Israeli authorities, Al-Ghanim said this “represents the most dangerous types of terrorism — the terrorism of the state.”

“You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honourable parliament around the world,” he said, addressing the Israeli delegation. “Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children.” The Israeli delegation left the talks following the remarks by Al- Ghanim and several other parliamentarians in the midst of applause. Mexico’s Gabriela Cuevas Barron has become the 129th President of the IPU.

Barron was on Wednesday elected at the IPU’s 137th Assembly to lead the IPU for a three-year term, replacing Saber Hossain Chowdhury from Bangladesh who took office on Oct 16, 2014. The IPU President is the political head of the organization and is elected to the post by the IPU membership through its Governing Council. Barron heads the Mexican Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, and the Mexico delegation to the IPU since 2012. She was supported for the post by 287 votes, while her rival, Uruguay’s Ivonne Passada, received 70 votes only.

A head of the elections, Barron had intensive consultations with all the regional groups represented at the IPU, among them the Arab and Muslim ones. Barron’s win has demonstrated the heavy weight of the Arab group at the IPU, Al-Ghanim said in a press statement. The Kuwaiti and the Arab delegations met with Barron before the elections, and then made a collective decision to support her for the post, he said.

The Arab group had received promises on certain conditions to back her, mainly to endorse Arabic as an official language of the union, and to back the Arab causes, as well as adopting ideas on amending the IPU’s statute to gain it authority to punish member Parliaments that might violate its basic principles, Al-Ghanim said.

This is the second time at the 137th Assembly that the Arab coordination leads to tangible output, after mustering support to list the plight of the Rohingya Muslim on the conference agenda. Al- Ghanim lauded the performance of the outgoing Chowdhury who was “one of the best who led the IPU since it was established (in 1889)”.


By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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