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Amir cautions austerity inevitable – Premier sets forth guidelines for economic growth

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers during a group photo at the opening session of the National Assembly’s 15th Legislative Term on Dec 11.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday called for further caution and vigilance against endeavors targeting the nation’s unity. His Highness the Amir inaugurated today the first regular session of the National Assembly’s 15th Legislative Term.

Addressing the Parliament session, His Highness the Amir referred to the surrounding hazards, which he has repeatedly warned against, and the colossal challenges that hinder the efforts aiming to protect the nation and its security and stability, satisfy citizens and maintain their dignity, as well as securing a dignified future for them and the future generations.

His Highness the Amir said it is worrying that the dangers have been escalating, and the challenges are growing, as “brutal terrorism has found its way to our peaceful and safe nation, seeking to ignite sedition and break the national unity”.

His Highness the Amir highlighted the remarkable efforts and the “watchful eyes” that have preserved the nation’s security and have not allowed more terror crimes to take place. However, caution and vigilance remain a public national duty, His Highness the Amir said, urging “citizens, my brothers and my sons” to assume their responsibility, namely rejecting the heinous attempts for and disunity.”

His Highness the Amir pointed to the huge decrease of state revenues resulting from the sharp falls in oil prices that have caused a considerable deficit in the budget, as another significant challenge. It is inevitable to initiate effective measures to remedy the deficit and alleviate its effects, His Highness the Amir said. His Highness the Amir voiced confidence that the venerable assembly realizes that reducing expenditure has come to be “inevitable” through wellstudied arrangements to fix the imbalance of the state budget and to curb wasting and depletion of national resources, directing them toward their correct goals.

In the meantime, His Highness the Amir stressed keenness on easing the burden on people with limited income, and fighting for social justice through regular review of these measures, amending them in line with the state revenues.

This will be a part of a comprehensive economic reform program, in which the private sector plays a vital and effective role. All parties will be committed to the program, and the government will provide its tools and operational and timing details, His Highness the Amir said. Citizens will be apprised of their role in the program, and what it can achieve for them and the future generations, with their positive participation and the responsibilities they will have to assume.

His Highness the Amir stressed that he is confident that Kuwaitis’ love and allegiance to the nation, and their readiness for sacrifice, are by no means less than their ancestors. His Highness the Amir underscored the significance of identifying state priorities, amid the current regional and international conditions, fateful risks and the potential and unthinkable sudden developments, in light of the fact that million becoming homeless, and the ongoing plans of tampering and sabotage. All have to realize that this is no time for political luxury, or making gains at the expense of Kuwait’s higher interests, His Highness the Amir said. “If it is our destiny to bear national responsibility amidst the critical conditions the region is experiencing, we remain on our fixed constants on dealing with our (regional) sphere and the world, with the Arab and Islamic dimensions of these (consonants), as well as their regional and international frameworks,” His Highness the Amir said. This will proceed with commitment to the usual moderate approach for the progress and good of humanity.

Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir said that it is high time for a new phase of ties among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which rises to the level of the challenges, and that embodies the common goals and destiny of the “brothers.” This new phase will also see enhancing the GCC unity to achieve comprehensive development for the people and to maintain the sovereignty, security and stability of the member states.

By Abubaker A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Nakeeb Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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