MP: Syr­i­ans in Kuwait ‘broth­ers’, not ‘refugees’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

FLORENCE: Kuwait is host­ing 160,000 Syr­i­ans “whom we con­sider broth­ers and of­fer all means of a dig­ni­fied life. We do not deal with them as refugees,” a Kuwaiti MP said yes­ter­day.

The law­maker was re­fer­ring to the num­ber of Syr­ian na­tion­als cur­rently liv­ing in Kuwait, and who have mostly been re­sid­ing in the Gulf state since be­fore the Syr­ian cri­sis started in 2011. Kuwait has held an adamant stance against wel­com­ing any new refugees flee­ing from the con­flicts in their home coun­try, cit­ing se­cu­rity rea­sons.

Yet, MP Dr Ouda Al-Ruwaie be­lieves that host­ing a large com­mu­nity of Syr­i­ans in Kuwait “and offering them all forms of hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port” re­flects the state’s keen­ness on as­sist­ing vic­tims of the con­flict in Syria. “The fig­ure may look small for some, but it is equal to 15 per­cent of the Kuwaiti pop­u­la­tion,” Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted Ruwaie in state­ment he said dur­ing a joint sem­i­nar for the NATO Par­lia­men­tary As­sem­bly (PA) Mediter­ranean and Mid­dle East Spe­cial Group (GSM) and the Sub-Com­mit­tee on Transat­lantic Eco­nomic Re­la­tions that kicked off in Florence, Italy, on Thurs­day.

Ruwaie is lead­ing a Kuwaiti Na­tional As­sem­bly del­e­ga­tion to a joint sem­i­nar for the NATO Par­lia­men­tary As­sem­bly (PA) Mediter­ranean and Mid­dle East Spe­cial Group (GSM) and the Sub-Com­mit­tee on Transat­lantic Eco­nomic Re­la­tions that kicked off in Florence, Italy, on Thurs­day. The GSM pro­vides a fo­rum for par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from NATO coun­tries and the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) re­gion to dis­cuss po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity is­sues and to en­hance co-op­er­a­tion.

Donor con­fer­ences Ruwaie ap­pre­ci­ated all those offering sup­port to the Syr­ian refugees, ei­ther Arab Mus­lims, or the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. He said that the event high­lighted the Gulf lead­ing role in sup­port to the hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sues.

Ruwaie said that His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was the first to pay at­ten­tion to the Syr­i­ans’ hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sue since the erup­tion of the cri­sis, more than four years and a half ago. His High­ness the Amir ex­erted ef­forts to muster as­sis­tance to the Syr­i­ans, host­ing the First, Sec­ond and Third In­ter­na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian Pledg­ing Con­fer­ence for Syria, which man­aged to col­lect $8 bil­lion for the Syr­ian peo­ple.

Terror or­ga­ni­za­tion On Thurs­day, Ruwaie stressed the im­por­tance of re­ject­ing any links be­tween the so-called Is­lamic State (IS) to Is­lam, call­ing for terming it as a terror or­ga­ni­za­tion. The mes­sage of IS runs thor­oughly counter to the prin­ci­ples and teach­ings of Is­lam which call for tol­er­ance, stop­ping the blood­shed of peo­ple and safe­guard­ing their lives, he told a fo­rum of NATO par­lia­men­tary group.

Ruwaie called on coun­tries to scru­ti­nize deeply and clearly the ide­ol­ogy of this or­ga­ni­za­tion, which calls for the de­struc­tion of in­sti­tu­tions and homes, and the killing of peo­ple, and to ex­pose its crimes against peo­ple re­gard­less of their race, re­li­gion or sex.

He re­jected also claims that IS de­stroys mon­u­ments and mu­se­ums on a re­li­gious ba­sis, say­ing the ac­cu­mu­lated cul­tural her­itage has been ex­ist­ing un­harmed over the history of Is­lam and this proves also that IS is not linked to Is­lam.

The Kuwaiti MP un­der­lined the ur­gency of dry­ing up fi­nan­cial sources of IS in or­der to up­root the phe­nom­e­non, urg­ing both Mus­lim and Arab na­tions to show to the world the true im­age of Is­lam and Mus­lims. He urged the Western me­dia to un­cover facts re­lat­ing to the crimes of this or­ga­ni­za­tion to ex­pose its ugly im­age to peo­ple.

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