KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday he plans to convene the Assembly in an emergency and closed session to debate regional turmoil following tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He said the session will be held when he returns from a trip abroad to allow MPs to speak about the developments in the region, especially after the latest events between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Riyadh severed its ties with Tehran in protest over attacks to its embassy and consulate after the kingdom executed Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr Al-Nimr. Bahrain followed suit and the United Arab Emirates downgraded its relations with Iran in protest. Kuwait has strongly condemned the attacks on Saudi missions and expressed total solidarity with the kingdom. Ghanem also condemned the attacks, saying they represent a flagrant violation of Tehran’s commitment to provide protection to diplomatic missions. The speaker announced in a statement total solidarity with Saudi Arabia.
The head of the Assembly’s foreign relations committee MP Kamel Al-Awadhi also condemned the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, saying Iranian authorities have the responsibility of protecting diplomatic missions. He expressed support for Saudi Arabia and rejected any attempt to undermine its security. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), along with Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and UAE.
Awadhi said that Kuwait completely supports Saudi Arabia and stands by the kingdom under all circumstances, adding that all the GCC states are united, which means that any aggression on any member country is an aggression against other members. The lawmaker however emphasized on the important roles of both Iran and Saudi Arabia and called for defusing tensions between them through dialogue in order to strengthen security and stability in the region. Awadhi said that if tensions escalate between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it will lead to instability and chaos in the region, adding that worsening ties between the two regional heavyweights will only benefit Israel.
MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji supported the Saudi action in severing ties with Tehran, saying the action is natural and comes from a country that respects its sovereignty and rejects any foreign intervention in its internal affairs. He accused Iran of meddling into the affairs of several countries like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and others. Turaiji rejected Tehran’s claims that those who attacked the Saudi embassy are individuals and accused the Islamic republic of trying to create problems in the region.
In another development, MP Fares Al-Otaibi has announced that he plans to file a request to grill Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh over reported government plans to hike prices of fuel and charges on public services. Otaibi did not give a date for filing the grilling. The government has announced that it is still studying the issue of reducing subsidies on fuel and services.
By B Izzak