‘Care for one another’

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Speaker stresses Arab solidarity importance

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: People usually remember certain incidents in history that highlight what they think as the Arabs’ failure to forge solidarity; such as the fall of Abbasid Caliphate and Grenada, as well as the occupation of Palestine, says National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim. Al-Ghanim made the statement at the 32nd Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in Cairo, Egypt with the theme, ‘Arab Solidarity’.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim during his speech at the 32nd Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union.

He disclosed that he has always wondered if Arab solidarity is real, if it is the suitable theme for this conference or it is just a slogan. He asserted those who claim that Arabs have failed to forge solidarity want to impart fake knowledge in a bid to persuade the people that strategies, national interests and borders control everything; away from flexible slogans, grand titles and nonsensical solidarity.

He went on to say that he and millions of Arabs and Muslims do not believe the above-mentioned view due to the trivial nature of the incidents cited. He argued that history is full of situations clearly showing Arab solidarity, indicating there are thousands of examples of Arabs and Muslims who defied the borders just to stand united with their brothers. He said solidarity is above politics, culture, religion and conscience. “We need to stress the importance of solidarity.

The worst feeling for a person experiencing injustice is loneliness, the feeling that nobody cares,” he added. He believes the Arab, Muslim and international support made a big difference for Palestinians as such support made them strong despite the difficulties they have been facing. He received hundreds of messages from Palestinians who praised Kuwait and other Arab countries for their unwavering support. “They know that solidarity with Palestinians will not make a big difference in the military scale, but it could intimidate the enemies, rendering them sleepless in critical situations. Expressions of solidarity could boost the morale of Palestinians.

Every meeting or conference on solidarity is a step toward the right direction, not just a repetition of nonsensical speeches and futile expression of sympathy,” he added. He then thanked Speaker of the Federal Nation Council of the United Arab Emirates Saqr Ghabash for his outstanding leadership of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union during his term. He also wished incoming leader of the union, Speaker of Bahraini House of Representatives Fawzia Zainal, the best throughout her term. Meanwhile, MPs Osama Al-Menawer and Fayez Al-Jomhour submitted a bill on adding Article 198bis to Penal Code No. 16/1960 in response to the Constitutional Court’s declaration that Article 198 of the Penal Code is unconstitutional.

According to the court, Article 198, which criminalizes the act of imitating the opposite sex, is unconstitutional because it violates Article 30 of the Constitution that guarantees personal liberty. The bill stipulates a maximum of two years imprisonment and maximum fine of KD3,000 or any of these two penalties for men arrested for wearing women’s clothes or putting make up to look like women and vice versa. These penalties are also applicable to whoever undergoes plastic surgery and uses certain substances – whether licensed or not – to change their looks to that of the other gender. In case the changes include body shape, the arrested individual will be referred to the Forensic Medicine Department which will submit a report within 24 hours.

On the other hand, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on Thursday discussed the government’s Public Loan Bill. Committee Chairman MP Ahmad Al- Hamad disclosed that due to the importance of the bill, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs Abdulwahab Al-Rashead conducted a visual presentation on the reasons behind submitting the bill. He said the presentation detailed how the loaned amount will be spent, the mode of payment, and how it can upgrade the credit classification of Kuwait.

He added the minister had two options – submit the bill or withdraw cash from the Future Generations Fund by amending Law No. 106/1976 on the establishment of the fund. He revealed the committee is against the idea of withdrawing cash from the fund, affirming the issue must be discussed further at the committee before submitting a report to the Assembly. He added the Technical Office at the committee will ask the government to provide more details on the expenditures and guarantees, confirming the minister is ready to provide the committee with a copy of the financial guarantee for the loan. Moreover, Assembly Observer MP Osama Al-Shaheen met Turkish Ambassador to Kuwait Aisha Koytak recently. They discussed ways to strengthen parliamentary ties between Kuwait and Turkey. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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