Kuwait to set up naval base: navy commander
New base will be built on Failaka island
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.
“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.