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Kuwait updates UN about missing nationals, recovered properties

Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi

KUWAIT: Kuwait has updated UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Security Council members about latest developments about missing Kuwaitis and third nationals, as well as Kuwait’s national archive. Kuwait’s permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi sent two letters to Guterres and President of UNSC, on April 12, about latest developments regarding the two issues in line with UN resolution 2107 (2013) and UNSC’s Statement, issued on November 24, 2020. He said Kuwait identified, on March 3, eight Kuwaiti martyrs and third-country nationals who were arrested by Iraqi forces during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Kuwait’s Mission to the UN said in a statement Thursday.

The martyrs were identified through their DNA, said Otaibi. The letters included the names of the martyrs: Asaad Ali Abdulrahman Al-Sultan, Ameen Ali Mohammad Ashkanani, Khalil Saud Khalil Al-Qattan, Abdullah Ibrahim Mohammad Al-Qudaifi, Mohammad Mubarak Mohammad Al-Sameem, Musaed Mohammad Falah Al-Doseri, Nasser Eid Khaled Al-Enezi and Yusuf Yaqoub Mohammad Al-Yaqoub. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed families of the martyrs once confirming their identities.

Otaibi said the Criminal Evidence Department at the Ministry of Interior were still examining remains received from Iraq in August 2019. These DNA tests were taking a lot of time because the remains were mixed. Otaibi praised heroism of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their country. He also said Kuwait was also keen on handing over all remains of Iraqi soldiers founded in Kuwaiti territories, citing the handing over of a remain on March 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, Otaibi said Kuwait received on March 28 a new batch of properties stolen by the former Iraqi regime during its 1991-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait. These properties, he said, included 53 boxes containing more than 6,500 books, microfilms, 1,016 cartridge tapes (16 mm), one videoMatic film and one videoMatic player, cinema projector, cinema film reel, two AKAI magnetic recordings and eight magnetic recordings. Otaibi said handing over of the properties took place in State of Kuwait and witnessed by UN resident coordinator in the Gulf nation.

Otaibi thanked Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UN, Britain, France, UN and International Committee of Red Cross for their contributions that led to discovery of the remains despite coronavirus pandemic. He also thanked UNSC members for their keen interest in this humanitarian file until discovery of remains of 338 Kuwaitis and third-country nationals, as well as recovery of all Kuwaiti properties including the national archive.

Israel’s crimes
Separately, Kuwait called for enforcing political and legal action against Israel, and holding it accountable for relentless violations against the Palestinian people. While the international community is busy fighting COVID-19, “Israel, the occupying power, continues its hostile policies against the Palestinian people to remind us it will not retreat from plans to annex more Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” Otaibi said in a statement to a UN Security Council session over the Palestinian issue on Thursday.

Otaibi said Israeli policies were forcing occupation through illegal activities and policies including expansion and construction of thousands of Jewish housing units, and annexation of lands in clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions, namely resolution 2334. All recent UN reports, he said, confirmed deterioration of conditions in Palestinian territories due to the rising construction of thousands of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank including in East Jerusalem.

“What concerns us as well is that while Israeli authorities give green light for construction of illegal settlements there are violent acts committed by Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces against unarmed Palestinian people, as well as destruction of buildings and properties whether they were Palestinian or built through donations from the international community like schools and health facilities,” he said. Otaibi described the Israeli actions as “new war crimes” added to Israel’s hostilities against the Palestinian people. The Israeli occupation seeks to abort any chance and hope towards establishment of the independent and viable Palestinian state, he said.

The international community must act to put an end to the Israeli arrests, destruction or confiscation of Palestinian buildings and forced displacement, said Otaibi, in addition to the 13-year-old siege on Gaza Strip. He said Kuwait believed peace was the strategic choice in the Middle East which would lead to the two-state solution in line with relevant UNSC resolutions, land-for-peace principle and Arab peace initiative, paving way for an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. – KUNA


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