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Kuwait Speaker rejects Middle East plan – Deal tossed

AMMAN, Feb 8: A Middle East peace plan presented by US President Donald Trump was “destined to die,” Kuwait’s top lawmaker said on Saturday, adding it was met with near-unanimous disapproval from the international community. Peacemakers should work “seriously” towards genuine peace, which can only mean a full-fledged Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said amid an extraordinary meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Amman, where some 20 Arab top lawmakers have gathered.

The Kuwaiti delegation led by Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Speaker of Parliament

Al-Ghanim was accompanied by the Inter-Parliamentary Group consisting of Secretary MP Dr Ouda Al-Ruwai’e, Treasurer MP Muhammad Al-Dallal, member MP Dr Khalil Abul and Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Aziz Al- Daihani. In a symbolic action, Al- Ghanim tossed the book, documents and references included in the Middle East Peace Plan (‘Deal of the Century’) in the garbage bin; stressing that this is where the plan should be and he is doing so on behalf of all Arabs and Muslims. He added that the best place for such plan is the dustbin history. He asserted the so-called ‘deal of the century’ was born dead; stressing it is useless to promote and market the deal if the Palestinians, Arabs and the world have outrightly rejected it.

Whoever aspires for peaceful settlement of the issue must present just conditions to establish a Palestinian State with full rights and Jerusalem as its capital city, he added. He went on to say that the Arabs and Muslims whom others think as defeated and uninterested are full of rejection and anger and their passion for their main issue will never die. He pointed out the free people in the entire world do not accept injustice, emphasizing that the date of revealing the so-called ‘deal of the century’ is pre-mature.

This implies that those who adopted the deal are naive and made themselves the subject of mockery, the Speaker asserted. He said the Arab people and leaders, and the entire Muslim world – from Jakarta to Morocco – are against the deal, not just the Palestinians. Even the Europeans are not enthusiastic, because they realized that the plan is unrealistic and inapplicable.

Ironically, many Americans and Israelis also voiced their objection to the plan, he asserted. He affirmed the Arabs appreciate and support any effort to conclude the peace process; but he was quick to add that the peace they are seeking is just, away from the fake peace process which squanders the Palestinian rights. “What is needed is peace which tackles issues related to sovereignty, borders, security, refugees and water resources in a just manner. Above all, this peace should protect the Arabism identity of Jerusalem where Islamic and Christian holy sites are located,” the Speaker explained. Al-Ghanim added: “They want us to sell our land, abandon our history and dignity, and disappoint our people in exchange for some financial offers.

We, the Arabs, have a better offer – give you more money than what you offer for us to leave our holy land. Then, it will be a wonderful deal of the century.” He pointed out every voice trying to portray the meeting as political Hyde Park and a venue for exchanging speeches is suspicious.

The demand for action rather than words is right but the objective is wrong. Calls for ignoring the Palestinian issue and focusing on development of democracy and advancement are suspicions because our enemy wants us to be preoccupied with individual issues but this will never happen, he added. Addressing those who adopted the Middle East Peace Plan, Al-Ghanim stressed: “Neither history, Geography, culture and demography support you. Jerusalem will be back sooner or later.”

On the sideline of the Arab Parliaments Union meeting, Al-Ghanim discussed issues of mutual concern with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbous. He also met Speaker of Jordanian Parliament Atef Al-Tarawnah during which the strong bond between the two sisterly countries was discussed, as well as ways to address main issues, particularly the Palestinian cause.

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Aziz Al-Daihani presided over the meeting. In another development, MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei disclosed that he is currently studying the draft law stipulating three terms for a lawmaker – a total of 12 years; after which he will no longer be allowed to contest the parliamentary elections.

He argued the electoral system is one of the reasons behind most of the country’s problems, indicating he had earlier submitted a draft law on organizing elections according to the electoral lists in the existing constituencies and the winning list will be assigned to form the government.

Meanwhile, MP Khalid Al-Otaibi said the monthly allowance given to Kuwaiti students will neither be changed nor cancelled because it is enforced according to a law, not an administrative decision. He also intends to review the subsidy given to citizens working in the private sector as the current law stipulates the subsidy but it gives the Council of Ministers the right to specify the amount. He submitted a draft law on this issue in 2018 with the aim of ensuring stability for citizens employed in the private sector, reassuring them that the amount of subsidy is not a subject to change by the government.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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