Kuwait warns of stern steps against protesters

Updated 02 November 2012
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Kuwait warns of stern steps against protesters

KUWAIT CITY: Authorities in Kuwait warned yesterday they will use harsher measures to crack down on anti-government demonstrators defying bans on protest gatherings in the increasingly tense Gulf nation.
The statement came just hours after clashes between security forces and thousands of protesters who had gathered outside a prison in Kuwait City on Wednesday evening to demand the release of an opposition leader, Musallam al-Barrack, who is under investigation for allegedly insulting Kuwait’s Emir.
Al-Barrack, a former parliament member, was released from custody yesterday on bail of 10,000 dinars (more than $35,500), Kuwait media reported.
Kuwait last week banned any public gathering of more than 20 people in attempts to quash growing protests led by opposition factions that include conservatives, which is seeking to reclaim control of parliament in elections planned for Dec. 1.
The outcome is seen as a pivotal moment in Kuwait’s political showdowns.
Kuwait’s deepening political crisis could bring further rifts in one of Washington’s most important Gulf allies, which now hosts the bulk of US ground forces in the region following America’s withdrawal from Iraq.
Kuwait has the most politically empowered Parliament among the Gulf Arab states, with opposition lawmakers often directly challenging government officials over alleged corruption and power abuses.
But Kuwaiti officials have taken a hardline position as protests have moved to the streets. Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said forces will “firmly” confront any new demonstrations.
It said a “number” of protesters have been arrested, including a driver who allegedly tried to run over four policemen late Wednesday.
Oil-rich Kuwait has not faced widespread unrest since the Arab Spring uprisings erupted last year across the Middle East, but political battles and labor upheavals have stalled many development plans and rewritten the rules on political dissent.


Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

Updated 26 April 2018
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Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

LONDON: Four Arab ambassadors have called on Qatar to improve relations with its neighbors, change its attitude and stop its support for extremism, terror and destabilization in the region.

The four ambassadors of Saudi Arabia (Mohammed bin Nawwa), Bahrain (Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa), the UAE (Suleiman Al-Mazroui) and Egypt (Nasser Kamel) co-wrote a letter published on Wednesday in the Financial Times to answer an FT lead article titled “Qatar siege is meaningless.”

The ambassadors stressed in the letter that their governments had no plans to incorporate Qatar, as the FT claimed, but all they hoped for is that the Doha government committed to the international criteria to fight terrorism and “stop its support for terror and extremism in the region.”

In the letter, the four ambassadors reminded the paper that the prime minister of Qatar attended the wedding of the son of Abdel Rahman Al-Nueimi,who is listed on a US terror list, and is the main conduit to Al-Qaeda in Iraq where, according to the US, he funnelled millions of US dollars to the organization there.

The ambassadors added that Al-Nueimi is one of many sponsors of terror living and working in Qatar.

The ambassadors drew the readers’ attention to Qatar’s “double standard behavior” — saying one thing to the West, and doing the opposite.

They concluded the letter by demonstrating Qatar’s “duplicity.”

They said that Qatar has recently intensified the use of its media and PR to promote and support terror in the Middle East generally and in Saudi Arabia especially.

Recently Qatari broadcasters opened their airwaves to Houthi militia in Yemen and its propaganda calling for attacking Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion the ambassadors called on Doha to quit its public relations campaign and change its attitude — only then would the siege be over.