KuwaitOther News

Bedoon issue to be discussed – Naturalization, incentives top agenda

KUWAIT: Head of the Interior and Defense committee MP Sultan Al-Shemmari said yesterday that an important meeting will take place after two weeks with the Interior Ministry and the stateless people agency to discuss the issue of thousands of stateless people or bedoons. He said the meeting comes after the bedoons agency completed a report on their situation and proposing solutions to the decades-old problem. He said the discussion will include naturalization.

The lawmaker said the committee discussed yesterday proposals and amendments to the nationality law issued in 1959. He did not provide details. There are around 120,000 bedoons living in Kuwait and claim to have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship. The government insists that only 34,000 of them qualify for consideration for citizenship and urged the rest to produce their original nationalities and promised a series of incentives including residence permits.

In the meantime, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji, head of the public funds protection committee, which investigated the so-called Dow deal, yesterday strongly defended the committee’s findings on the case. Several MPs have criticized the committee for not hearing the testimonies of all oil executives involved in the multi-billion-dollar joint venture between Kuwait and US Dow Chemical. Kuwait unilaterally scrapped the deal late 2008 and was ordered by arbitrators to pay a fine of $2.2 billion. This has angered lawmakers and others amid calls for a probe. Turaiji said that people should wait until the day when the report is going to be debated in the national assembly before judging the outcome. The assembly is scheduled to debate the report on December 1.

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