Kuwait to set up naval base: navy com­man­der

New base will be built on Failaka is­land

Arab Times - - LOCAL -

Kuwait is plan­ning to set up a naval base within five years, the Com­man­der of the Kuwaiti Navy has said.

The new base would be built on Failaka, an is­land about 20 kms off the coast of Kuwait City in the Ara­bian Gulf, Ma­jor-Gen­eral Khalid Al Kan­dari said.

The base will be part of a se­ries of mea­sures to bol­ster the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Kuwaiti navy and to em­power it to bet­ter pro­tect the bor­ders of the north­ern Ara­bian Gulf state, he added in re­marks pub­lished by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Mon­day.

The navy is also plan­ning to set up a navy acad­emy for Kuwaiti of­fi­cers.

The new mar­itime force will be re­cruited in the Kuwaiti army and in the Min­istry of In­te­ri­ors Coastal Guards, Al Kan­dari said.

Stu­dents dis­patched by al­lied and sis­terly coun­tries will be al­lowed to enrol at the acad­emy.

Stu­dents will spend four years at the acad­emy and grad­u­ates will be given in­ter­na­tion­ally-recog­nised cer­tifi­cates upon their grad­u­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Al Kan­dari, the col­lege, in line with the di­rec­tives of the de­fence min­is­ter and the chief of staff, will be the ground that of­fi­cers need to re­ceive proper train­ing and sub­se­quently serve the mar­itime sec­tors in the coun­try. It will also help el­e­vate the stan­dards of the Kuwaiti army and navy while it re­duces the costs of learn­ing and train­ing the state is cur­rently spend­ing on trainees in for­eign acad­e­mies and col­leges, he added.

Mean­while, Kuwait will not let in re­li­gious fig­ures on the ter­ror list pre­pared by Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) states.

En­ter­ing

“Some of them are banned from en­ter­ing Kuwait, but the ban will now be ex­tended to cover all those who are des­ig­nated as ter­ror­ists by the GCC states,” a well-in­formed source told Kuwaiti daily Al Rai. “The ban by Kuwait will be to avoid po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic em­bar­rass­ment with the other GCC coun­tries,” the daily re­ported on Tues­day.

Kuwaits in­te­rior min­istry is plan­ning to set up a spe­cial process for grant­ing visas to re­li­gious fig­ures, both Sun­nis and Shi­ites, to make sure that peo­ple with sus­pi­cious records are not al­lowed to en­ter the coun­try and thus avoid run­ning into any kind of prob­lem, the source said.

“There is clear co­or­di­na­tion through a joint com­mit­tee be­tween the Min­istry of En­dow­ments and Is­lamic Af­fairs and the Min­istry of In­te­rior for deal­ing with re­li­gious fig­ures com­ing into Kuwait,” the source said.

“The in­te­rior min­istry re­quires the names of the re­li­gious fig­ures who would be in­vited to Kuwait to give lec­tures or en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties in or­der to check their records and ori­en­ta­tions and de­cide whether they can be granted the en­try visa.”

The GCC, es­tab­lished in 1981, also com­prises Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

Three of the mem­bers, Bahrain, Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE, and Egypt this month an­nounced a list of 59 in­di­vid­u­als and 12 Qataraf­fil­i­ated en­ti­ties they de­scribed as “ter­ror­ist sup­port­ers.”

The coun­tries said in a joint state­ment that the ma­jor­ity of en­ti­ties sanc­tioned are “linked to Qatar and are a man­i­fes­ta­tion of a Qatari gov­ern­ment pol­icy of du­plic­ity.” They ac­cused Doha of pol­icy di­chotomy, call­ing for com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism whilst at the same time over­see­ing the fi­nanc­ing, sup­port­ing and har­bour­ing of a vast ar­ray of ter­ror­ist groups and ter­ror­ism- fi­nanc­ing net­works.

The list in­cludes hold­ers of na­tion­al­i­ties from Qatar, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Ara­bia, Kuwait, Ye­men and Bahrain.

The en­ti­ties are six from Bahrain, five from Qatar and one from Libya.

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