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Government totally rejects normalizing ties with Israel

FM reiterates stance a major pillar of Kuwait’s foreign policy

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah, head of the Assembly’s foreign relations committee MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari and other lawmakers and officials attend the panel’s meeting yesterday. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah told the National Assembly’s foreign relations committee that Kuwait totally rejects any normalization of relations with Israel, the head of the panel said. MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari said after an expanded meeting of the committee that the foreign minister also reiterated that rejecting normalization is one of the major pillars of Kuwait’s foreign policy.
The meeting was held following parliamentary and popular criticism of Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah for taking part in a group picture at a Warsaw conference in which the Israeli prime minister was also present. Kuwait has repeatedly said it will not normalize relations with Israel and that it will do so only if all Arab countries normalize ties with Israel. Jarallah represented Kuwait at the Warsaw conference held a couple of weeks ago, which was attended by several Arab foreign ministers who reportedly met the Israeli premier.

Following his return, several MPs and activists strongly lashed out at Jarallah and the government, accusing it of violating its longstanding pledge not to have any contacts with Israel. Jarallah immediately issued a statement in which he clarified that there was no change in Kuwait’s well-established policy towards the Palestinian cause.

Besides Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and Jarallah, the meeting was attended by National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem and several lawmakers. Kandari said besides discussing the Warsaw conference, the meeting also debated regional developments, and the discussions were very open and transparent. The lawmaker said the information and commerce ministries will be summoned later for meetings to reiterate their total rejection of normalization with Israel.

He however said that Kuwait does not require new legislation to ban any normalization because existing laws are sufficient. Kandari said the committee conveyed to the meeting the strong popular rejection of any normalization and warned against any moves that may lead to any form of relations with Israel.

Meanwhile, the constitutional court yesterday decided to delay until April 10 to issue its verdict regarding if the law on conflict of interests is in line with the constitution.

By B Izzak

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