Speaker, MPs condemn Dashti’s visit to Mughniya’s family – ‘I visited a resistance hero’

dhastiKUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem strongly condemned the visit MP Abdul Hameed Dashti made to the Mughniya family, noting that it was very provocative, irresponsible and unacceptable. Speaker Ghanem noted that such a visit does not help in enhancing national unity and solidarity and that the lawmaker alone ought to be held responsible for it. Dashti was reportedly in Lebanon recently where he visited the family of Imad Mughniya; a Hezbollah member who is believed to have been responsible for the hijacking of the ‘Jabriya’ Kuwait Airways plane in 1988, which resulted in the death of two Kuwaiti passengers on board.

Mughniya died in a car bomb in Syria in 2008. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji called for arresting and questioning Dashti with regard to the visit. Meanwhile, MP Nabil Al-Fadhl condemned the visit, saying that for all Kuwaitis, Mughniya is known as the man who took part in the hijacking of a Kuwaiti plane and the killing of Kuwaiti citizens. “Dr Dashti should not have hurt Kuwaitis and victims’ families’ feelings!” he exclaimed.

Also commenting on the visit, MP Abdullah Al-Adwani described the visit as provocative to all Kuwaitis. “I wish Dashti had visited the Jabriya flight victims’ families and kissed their heads instead! But he only represents himself,” he said. MP Hamdan Al-Azmi meanwhile criticized what he described as the government’s silence towards such an unacceptable provocative action of glorifying one of Kuwait’s worst enemies and visiting his family and forgetting all about the Al-Jabriya flight hijack in the 1980s and the murdering of Kuwaiti citizens. “This is typical of Dashti,” he said, noting that he only blamed those keeping silent about it. “What if someone visited the family of Al-Sadiq Mosque bomber and kissed them on the forehead… will they also keep silent?!” he wondered. He blamed Dashti’s supporters in both powers and said, “You reap what you sow!” reminding them that Dashti had previously visited Bashar Al-Assad.

Martyred hero
On the other hand, MP Dashti explained that his visit to the family of the ‘martyred hero’ Imad Mughniya, as he referred to him, was one to the family of a hero who had resisted the Israeli occupation until he was assassinated “at the very same time when MP Turaiji and his likes of apparent and hidden Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State affiliates only fought Israel with words and sophisticated talk,” he said. He urged Turaiji to stop profiteering and pretending to be someone else. “You are only trying to fish in murky waters but the Kuwaiti people are well aware of such attempts,” he said.

Jahra blackouts
MP Sultan Al-Shemmari strongly criticized Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Public Works Ahmad Al-Jassar for blackouts reported in Jahra and other areas over the past few days. “It is strange how MEW keeps silent about these blackouts,” He said. “The people are fed up with such, almost daily blackouts during very hot weather.” He warned that he would question Minister Jassar in parliament. Notably, another blackout was reported yesterday noon in some areas in Jahra.

By A Saleh

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Al-Ghanim had significant role in supporting Iraq

Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah. — KUNA

Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri said that Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim had a significant role in the decision to make Iraq the venue to host the Islamic Parliaments conference in 2016. Al-Ghanim has also provided support for Iraq to host the parliamentary event next year, Al-Jabouri said an interview with the Kuwaiti-based Al- Majlis TV channel Wednesday on the sidelines of his current visit to the country. Iraq sought to host the parliamentary conference out of its desire to be part of the Arab and Islamic system, Al-Jabouri said, asserting his country’s need for friends’ assistance in this regard, notably Kuwait due to its closeness and interaction with events in Iraq. He also said that his country has been isolated from its Arab surrounding for a period of time, adding that hosting such events is necessary in order to attain unison with neighboring countries. The Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations are distinctive and share a clear and united vision in facing the region’s challenges, the Iraqi Speaker said, noting that hosting the event in Iraq is a clear and direct message by Islamic nations against terrorism.

Terrorist attacks
On Iraq’s return to its pivotal role in the region, he said that his country is still suffering from terrorist attacks, as well as international and regional interventions which affected the Iraqi people and their relationships towards each other. On the political system in Iraq, Al-Jabouri noted that the political regime has not seen stability so far despite commitment in political dues such as parliamentary elections, government formation, and presidency, stressing the importance to preserve the country’s official and constitutional institutions, as well as their elements. He also pointed out that elements of current chaos in Iraq are not only triggered by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but also from other militant militias and armed groups, adding that the sectarian discrimination in Iraq has affected aspirations of Iraqis due to some negative actions by some politicians. The Iraqi Speaker stressed the importance of political participation in his country in order to attain demands and interests of all components of the Iraqi society, confirming that the point of understanding starts from a real partnership among the society’s components and an effective participation in building the country. On participation of the popular mobilization forces with the Iraqi army in facing ISIL, Al-Jabouri said that there is a large number of Iraqis who rushed to aid Iraqi security forces, many among whom died while defending the country. On Iraq’s future, the Iraqi Speaker confirmed that he is exerting all efforts in favor of Iraq’s unity and attaining harmony among Iraqis in order to overcome challenges. — KUNA

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Amir hopes Iran’s deal would boost regional security, stability

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah hoped Iran’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group contributed to boosting regional security and stability, and push forward development in the countries of the area. This came in cables sent by His Highness the Amir to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme leader of the Iranian Revolution Ali Khamenei to congratulate them on the conclusion of this “historic” agreement, which was signed by the parties in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday.

He hoped the agreement, which would scale back Iran’s enrichment capabilities in return of lifting of sanctions, would push development in the region towards further progress and prosperity for peoples. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent cables to Rouhani and Khamenei to congratulate them on the agreement. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables.

His Highness the Amir also congratulated leaders of the P5+1 countries’ leaders and UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Iran’s nuclear agreement. His Highness the Amir sent cables to Presidents of France Francois Hollande, the US Barrack Obama, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ban, hoping the agreement would boost regional security and stability. The State of Kuwait had welcomed the nuclear agreement that was signed by Iran and the P5+1 group, hoping that it will ease tension and boost confidence-building measures between the international community and Iran, thus bolster regional and international security and stability, a foreign ministry source told KUNA in a statement.

Historic deal
National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanem expressed hope that the deal contributes to boosting security and stability in the region, and directs Tehran’s focus on its own development. Hailing all sides involved on the “historic deal,” he stressed the importance of dialogue on solving global and regional affairs in preserving security and stability, particularly in the Middle East. He also expressed appreciation of the efforts pursued by all sides in reaching the deal, acknowledging Iran’s right to nuclear energy for peaceful means and the international community’s assurances in this regard.

Mirroring these views, Deputy Speaker Mubarak Al-Khurainej said he hopes the deal does much to keep the danger of nuclear weapons far from the region and acts as a key for cooperation between Iran and Gulf states, without intervention in the affairs of one another.

He called on Iran to improve its relations with the countries of the region for the greater benefit of all. The Kuwaiti lawmaker went on to urge the monitoring of the deal’s implementation. Iran and the P5+1 group (the five permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) members plus Germany) signed a comprehensive nuclear agreement following 17 days of hectic marathon negotiations. The agreement will scale back Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities in return of lifting of sanctions. — KUNA

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Amir receives opposition figures

KUWAIT: The Amir yesterday received a seven-member delegation from the opposition for the first time in almost three years after the late 2012 change of the Electoral Law. Former Housing Minister Shuaib Al-Muwaizri said in a statement that the meeting took place at the Sief Palace and included former members of the scrapped February 2012 Assembly Mohammad Al-Dallal, Osama Al-Shaheen, Hamad Matar, Abdulrahman Al-Anjari, Ammar Al-Ajmi, Osama Al-Munawer, in addition to Munawer Al-Azemi.

In a statement after the meeting Muwaizri (also a former MP) said the meeting was very cordial, frank and held in a family atmosphere and was an opportunity to hail the Amir’s keenness to strengthen national unity. He said the delegation praised the Amir’s brave and wise position in confronting terrorism and to be with his people in the first few minutes after the terrorist bombing of Imam Al-Sadeq Mosque. Muwaizri said the meeting was also an opportunity to raise a number of issues that concern the Kuwaiti people, adding that at the end of the meeting, the importance of more contacts was stressed.

Other members who attended the meeting did not make any comment on their Twitter accounts. At least three of the members belong to the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Kuwaiti opposition groups boycotted the elections held in December 2012 and July 2013 in protest against the government amendment of the Electoral Law, saying the amendment allowed the government to manipulate the election results in its favor. Muwaizri however did not clarify whether the members of the delegation attended the meeting on personal capacity or represented opposition groups.

By Staff Reporter

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Amir receives opposition figures

KUWAIT: The Amir yesterday received a seven-member delegation from the opposition for the first time in almost three years after the late 2012 change of the Electoral Law. Former Housing Minister Shuaib Al-Muwaizri said in a statement that the meeting took place at the Sief Palace and included former members of the scrapped February 2012 Assembly Mohammad Al-Dallal, Osama Al-Shaheen, Hamad Matar, Abdulrahman Al-Anjari, Ammar Al-Ajmi, Osama Al-Munawer, in addition to Munawer Al-Azemi.

In a statement after the meeting Muwaizri (also a former MP) said the meeting was very cordial, frank and held in a family atmosphere and was an opportunity to hail the Amir’s keenness to strengthen national unity. He said the delegation praised the Amir’s brave and wise position in confronting terrorism and to be with his people in the first few minutes after the terrorist bombing of Imam Al-Sadeq Mosque. Muwaizri said the meeting was also an opportunity to raise a number of issues that concern the Kuwaiti people, adding that at the end of the meeting, the importance of more contacts was stressed.

Other members who attended the meeting did not make any comment on their Twitter accounts. At least three of the members belong to the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Kuwaiti opposition groups boycotted the elections held in December 2012 and July 2013 in protest against the government amendment of the Electoral Law, saying the amendment allowed the government to manipulate the election results in its favor. Muwaizri however did not clarify whether the members of the delegation attended the meeting on personal capacity or represented opposition groups.

By Staff Reporter

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Kuwait establishes new anti-terror committee – Panel will work to drain sources of terror funding

KUWAIT: The Gulf state of Kuwait, hit by the worst suicide attack in its history last month, decided yesterday to set up a permanent committee to fight “terrorism” and extremism.

At its weekly meeting, the cabinet “decided to form a permanent committee to coordinate between various bodies to ensure security and fight against all forms of terrorism… and extremism,” a statement said.

A Saudi suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque in Kuwait City on June 26, killing 26 worshippers and wounding 227 others in an attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

The interior ministry has arrested more than 40 people in connection with the attack and referred them to the public prosecution for legal action.

The cabinet statement said the new committee will also work to drain sources of “terror” funding and intensify awareness programs.

It said the move came after the recent surge in “terrorism”. The interior ministry has said two Saudi brothers arrested by police in Saudi Arabia transported the explosives into Kuwait.

It said they delivered the explosives to Abdulrahman Sabah Eidan Saud, a stateless Arab who passed them on to the suicide bomber and drove him to the mosque.

An IS-affiliated group calling itself Najd Province claimed the Kuwait bombing and also said it carried out two suicide attacks at Shiite mosques in neighboring Saudi Arabia in May. — AFP

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Iraqi parliament speaker praises Amir’s wisdom – Prosecution begins interrogating ‘Fintas Group’ members

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (left), Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and other regional dignitaries attend prayers prior to the burial of Saudi Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in holy Makkah on Saturday. — KUNA

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (left), Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and other regional dignitaries attend prayers prior to the burial of Saudi Prince Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in holy Makkah on Saturday. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Iraqi Parliament Speaker Saleem Al-Jabouri yesterday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a mosque in Kuwait that left 26 people dead and 227 others wounded. Speaking after talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Marzouk Al-Ghanem at the National Assembly, Jabouri said the aim of the attack was to create divisions and infighting within the Kuwaiti people who successfully aborted the attempt. He praised the wisdom of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who visited the site of the mosque minutes after the bombing, adding that Kuwait has faced the attack with firm security measures.

The Iraqi speaker said that Kuwaitis have exhibited the best example of national unity and standing behind their leadership in confronting terrorism. Jabouri was also received by HH the Amir. In the meantime, head of the Public Anti-Corruption Authority Abdulaziz Al-Nemish said yesterday that he and members of the board of trustees of the Authority submitted their wealth disclosures to the Assembly Speaker. He said the wealth disclosures will also be handed later to the prime minister in accordance with the Authority law.

Nimesh said the Authority has already received wealth disclosure from Ghanem and Deputy Speaker Mubarak Al-Khurainej and will receive the wealth disclosure of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah soon.

Nimesh called on other members of the National Assembly to submit wealth disclosures to the Authority in accordance with the law. Rapporteur of a parliamentary panel probing the affairs of Kuwait Investment Office in London and other investment offices MP Madhi Al-Hajeri said members of the panel will travel to London after the Eid holidays to investigate alleged violations in the office.

He said that the committee will not hesitate to uncover any deals that led to a deliberate loss or squandering of public funds and also reveal the names of people behind these deals. The committee was formed several months ago to probe allegations of financial wrongdoings at KIO in London and other Kuwaiti investment offices abroad.

In another development, the public prosecution has started interrogations in the so-called Fintas Group whose members are accused of spreading false news about the country’s internal situation in social media, taking part in a group on What’sApp that made corruption accusations against members of the judiciary in addition to the misuse of mobiles.

The public prosecution has already interrogated four of the 13 members of the group which include four members of the ruling family, lawyers, journalists and others. The four members who were questioned were released on a KD 10,000 bail each. The interrogations are expected to continue in the coming few days.

By A Staff Reporter

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MPs hail Amir’s speech, urge nationwide unity – Sunni political groups strongly condemn mosque attack

KUWAIT: Nine Sunni Islamist groups, movements and personalities yesterday strongly condemned the suicide bombing on the Shiite mosque, stressing it was an attack against humanity and innocent people.

The groups called in a joint statement for national unity in the face of such terrorist attacks that aim at destabilizing the society by sowing seeds of dissent. The statement insisted that terrorism is not linked or related to Islam as a religion but a product of extremist ideologies embraced by ignorant people, adding that terrorism can happen and does take place in all societies and by all religions. They said that the Islamic trends in Kuwait are moderate in general and accordingly it is unfair to treat them on equal footing with extremists.

The groups declared their support for the interior ministry to crackdown and arrest the perpetrators but also called for providing legal protection for innocents. The statement also warned against exploiting the attack to force a change in the school textbooks under the claim that it contains extremist ideology.

Those who signed the statement include the Islamic Constitutional Movement, the Islamic Salaf Alliance, the Salafi Movement, Kuwait Preachers Society and others. In the meantime, National Assembly speaker Marzouk Al- Ghanem and several MPs hailed the speech of the Amir which he delivered yesterday on the occasion of the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan. Ghanem said in a statement that the Amir’s emphasis on national unity and fighting terrorism reflects his wisdom in leading the country and safeguarding its security and stability.

The speaker said that stances of the Amir have strengthened national unity and warded Kuwait against divisions. Deputy speaker MP Mubarak Al-Khrainej said the Amir has underscored the strength of Kuwait national unity and the ability of the Kuwaiti people to remain unaffected by attempts to undermine their security and unity. MP Madhi Al-Hajeri praised the Amir’s call for the international community to consolidate efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism so countries and people can live in peace.

MP Mansour Al-Dhafiri said the speech contained wise instructions and a thorough vision that all are urged to comprehend for Kuwait to sail to safety. Describing the speech as historical, Dhafiri called for translating his calls to strengthen efforts to contain sectarian tensions which threaten the very existence of nations. MP Faisal Al-Kundari said the speech has drawn a roadmap for true national unity and for tolerance in the society.

By B Izzak

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Lawmakers urge action as sand blocks highways – MP Awdah warns of dispute over Oil Minister

KUWAIT: Two MPs yesterday called on the Ministry of Public Works to immediately take all the necessary measures to clear large quantities of sand that closed the Wafra road as a result of massive dust storms. MP Saud Al-Huraiji said in a statement that the accumulation of large quantities of sand on a number of key roads like Wafra and Salmi and blocking traffic is a failure for the Ministry. He said the Ministry’s failure to carry out the necessary maintenance and repairs on important roads and to clear these roads from sand has resulted in a number of fatal accidents.

Kuwait has been hit by a powerful sand storm for the past few days as a result of strong northwesterly winds. The raising of dust was assisted by the fact that desert sand this year is too loose because of the lack of rain. He said that Ministry of Public Works officials have maintained a deaf ear to repeated appeals to carry out regular maintenance on key roads, especially the 100-km Salmi road which leads to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border post in Salmi

Huraiji said that the officials were urged in the past to widen the road and to plant fences of trees on the both sides of the road to act as sand barriers and prevent the accumulation of sand and accidents.

The lawmaker said that Minister Ahmad Al-Jassar and senior officials should be held politically and legally accountable for the miserable status of several roads which were blocked by sand despite abundant fiscal reserves in the country. He said that last year, he sent questions to the then Public Works Minister about the condition of the Salmi road and plans to repair and develop the important road. Since then, nothing was changed and the road remained as it was.

Huraiji said that ambulances and rescue operations were greatly hampered by sands on several roads where roads in neighboring Gulf states, which were hit by the same dust storm, remained clean and open to traffic. MP Talal Al-Jallal made a similar appeal for the Ministry to carry out the necessary works and repairs on the road leading to Wafra on the borders with Saudi Arabia. He said that the road was blocked to traffic by falling sand and also resulted in a number of accidents.

Jallal said Wafra road needs a major development in order to reduce the number of deadly accident on the vital road. MP Awdah Al-Awdah said yesterday that the ongoing dispute between the oil executives and Oil Minister Ali Al- Omair could divide the National Assembly into two sides.

He pointed out that the threat by oil executives to step down in protest against the Minister’s decision is not right nor suitable, adding that decisions by the minister should be issued at the right time. The Oil Minister has added six new members to the board of directors of Kuwait Petroleum Corp to expand the board members to 15. That triggered negative reactions by a number of oil executives and MPs.

By B Izzak

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MP Ashour calls for applying DNA tests

KUWAIT: MP Saleh Ashour called yesterday for the quick implementation of DNA testing to curb crime and terrorist attacks after the National Assembly passed the law last week. The law makes the genetic tests mandatory for all Kuwaitis and expatriates and stipulates a jail term and fine for those who refuse to do it or for faking the samples.

Ashour said that the law will contribute effectively to uncovering crimes and arresting criminals, adding that many countries have applied the law and obtained good results. The lawmaker meanwhile called on authorities not to penalize the stateless people, known as bedoons because some of them are suspected to have assisted in the bombing on the mosque last month. He said that the majority of the 110,000 bedoons are honest people who have sacrificed for the country and are serving the country in many fields including as servicemen in the police and the army.

The same thing applies to Saudis, he said, after it was found that the suicide bomber was a Saudi national. Ashour said that generalizing the penalties at a certain community because one of their members is a criminal is inhuman because the criminal is a person and can belong to any nationality whether it be Kuwaiti, Saudi or bedoon.

The lawmaker also said that preventive detention must be decided by the judges called for respecting people’s dignity. He was responding to reports that an emergency decree may be issued soon to extend the duration of the detention of suspects after the previous opposition-dominated Assembly had cut to just 48 hours. In a related development, Kuwait Society for Human Rights yesterday praised the National Assembly for approving a law to protect the rights of domestic helper, saying that the legislation is a “pioneering step for the protection of domestic helpers”. The Society said in a statement that the law has created a new legislative base in the field of protecting domestic helpers and also shows the government’s fulfillment of its promise in this field.

The Society praised the contributions made by civil society organizations which helped approve the law. The Society however said the legislation still contains a number of gaps because it did not make any reference to sick leave and did not provide any mechanism for inspection on the implementation of working hours, adequate housing and others. It said that the Society and other organizations will submit proposals to authorities in a bid to deal with the gaps. MP Ahmad Al-Qhudhaibi urged Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair to respond to his questions he had sent a few weeks ago over Omair’s claims of corruption in awarding mega contracts.

The lawmaker said that the summer recess which began last week will not deter him from following the issue. Several weeks ago, Omair accused in a statement those who have won multi-billion-dollar contracts in the oil sector through illegal means of trying to block his decisions and of standing against him. The lawmaker asked Omair for details about those contractors and demanded to know their names and called on the minister to refer the issue to the public prosecution

By B Izzak

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