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Ghanem: Iraq respects sovereignty of Kuwait

CAIRO: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, accompanied by MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Odah Al-Ruwaei, Ali Al-Deqbasi and Khaled Al-Otaibi, leads Kuwait’s delegation at the second Arab parliament conference yesterday. — KUNA

CAIRO: Iraqi Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri’s reaffirmation of respecting Kuwait’s sovereignty is “vital” to block any attempts to ignite disputes between the two neighboring countries, Kuwaiti National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday after meeting Jabouri and a number of Iraqi MPs to discuss the ramifications of recent reconnaissance missions carried out by Iraqi forces over the Khor Abdullah waterway on the Kuwaiti border.

Ghanem thanked his Iraqi counterpart for an “honest and transparent” discussion over this matter and an affirmation of respecting Kuwait’s sovereignty in accordance with signed international treaties. Having a clear official affirmation by the Iraqi leadership on this matter is “very crucial” in obstructing the schemes of those who wanted to create tension between the two nations for their personal gains, Ghanem told reporters. Jabouri affirmed to the press that his country is serious in respecting the sovereignty of its neighboring country and that Iraq is keen on continuing good relations with Kuwait.

A number of lawmakers who attended the talks stressed that both countries’ bilateral relations were strong enough to overcome the recent problems over Khor Abdullah. MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said what some Iraqi parties are doing is nothing more than a ‘storm in a teacup’. He also expressed satisfaction with Jabouri’s statements. MP Odah Al-Rowaei stressed the role of diplomacy in resolving problems, adding the talks were frank and straightforward. He also commended Jabouri’s sense of responsibility towards both countries’ interests.

MP Khaled Al-Otaibi said Iraq’s stability contributes to that of Kuwait and that both sides are ready to cooperate on resolving any problems. MP Askar Al-Enezi said Jabouri assured Kuwait that Iraq was fully committed to bilateral agreements during the talks, attended by lawmakers from both countries. He also quoted the Iraqi delegation’s emphasis on the fact that the offensive statements made about Khor Abdullah do not represent the Iraqi people.

Meanwhile, Ghanem stressed yesterday the importance of resuming Kuwaiti efforts, in cooperation with Arab parliaments, to freeze the Israeli Knesset’s membership at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). A document released at end of the second conference of the Arab Parliament and chairmen of Arab parliaments and legislative councils highlighted the significance of taking such a step, Ghanem said in a press statement.

The document’s timing coincides with the UN Security Council’s recent resolution that condemned and demanded the Israeli government to stop the ongoing construction of settlements in Palestinian territories, he noted, adding that several major countries supported the UNSC resolution, except the United States that refrained from backing the action.

“As Arabs, we must have our own measures and decisions that are, at least, different than the ones of non-Arab countries,” the Kuwaiti speaker said, indicating that freezing Israeli government’s IPU membership is possible due to the absence of veto power, in addition to the presence of 57 Muslim countries. The Kuwaiti parliament has completed the legal aspect regarding the resumption of efforts and will submit it in the next conference of speakers of Arab parliaments, Ghanem affirmed, calling on Arab states to support the Kuwaiti efforts.

Freezing the Knesset’s IPU membership is the least that can be done to make the Israeli occupation government commit to UN resolutions, he said, adding that the Israeli authorities, backed by the Knesset, have continued to violate all UN charters and resolutions and have never showed any regard or respect to honor their commitments.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi and Agencies

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