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KUWAIT Gulf union need to confront lurking dangers

Kuwait’s former FM says vigilance needed as region faces threats

By Habib Toumi, Bureau chief
August 5, 2012

Manama: Kuwait could come under attack from forces seeking to destroy the country and the region and Kuwait’s lawmakers should highlight the significance of the Gulf union instead of scaring people about it, the country’s former foreign minister has said.

“Black clouds have begun to gather in the skies of the region, related to the Western military movements that forecast danger and increase the likelihood of an imminent strike against Iran,” Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah said.

“Tehran will have a violent reaction towards us in case it comes under a Western attack. In such a case, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC) will provide us with full support. The GCC will guarantee that chaos does not plague the region,” Shaikh Mohammad said at a late dinner reception hosted by Kuwait’s ambassador to Qatar.

The former minister, a senior member of the ruling family, said that Kuwait cannot face alone the lurking challenges and needed the other members of the pan-Gulf council set up in 1981 by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“I find making doubts about the significance of the union at this critical stage disturbing,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

“The events in Syria will affect us because the Syrian region will not suffer an attack without having a reaction towards the Gulf countries where it has a large number of its nationals. Some of them could be used to undermine security here. We do need to be extra vigilant about everything,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Qabas.

The foreign ministers of the six member-states will next month hold a meeting to review a report on the progress of the move towards the union.

Shaikh Mohammad said that the idea of a Gulf union was part of the vision of the late Emir Shaikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

“The main idea was to set up the union, but it was opposed by Iraq and it was then changed to establish a council, not a union,” he said.

The former minister who resigned last year said that he was shocked by statements, made mainly by lawmakers, claiming that the Gulf union would dissolve the existing institutions in each of the six member states.

“The danger that threatens Kuwait is a threat to all GCC states and lawmakers should highlight this fact,” he said. “There is a deep rift between the political parties and we have to assume the responsibility to heal it, because there are plots to erode our unity and cause discord within in society,” he said.

Appreciating the various agenda in the region was highly significant.

“There are developments that very peculiar and totally alien to our society that aim to create rifts between the various segments of our society and push some of them to seek protection from abroad. There are also those who wish to export the Iraqi experience to the countries of the region and to Kuwait. However, with the will of God, we will be safe thanks to the special relations between the ruler and the people,” he said.

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