Kuwait marks 55th an­niver­sary of Arab League’s mem­ber­ship

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait will cel­e­brate today the 55th an­niver­sary of the Arab League’s mem­ber­ship. Kuwait tried to join the Arab League in 1958, but the move failed as the state was not in­de­pen­dent at that time.

Af­ter declar­ing Kuwait’s in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain on June 19, 1961, Iraq’s Prime Min­is­ter at that time Ab­dulka­reem Qassem called for an­nex­ing Kuwait to Iraq. Kuwait sub­mit­ted a re­quest to the Arab League on June 23, 1961 for get­ting a mem­ber­ship, the league ap­proved the re­quest on July 20.

As a re­sult, Kuwait called on Bri­tain to with­draw its troops and re­placed them with Arab ones and ac­tu­ally some troops from the United Arab Repub­lic, Jor­dan, and Su­dan ar­rived in Kuwait to pro­tect it from any for­eign interference. On Fe­bru­ary 8, 1963, Qassem was as­sas­si­nated and the Arab troops with­drew com­pletely from Kuwait on Fe­bru­ary 20.

Ac­cept­ing the re­quest of Kuwait to join the league, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral for Po­lit­i­cal Af­fairs at that time Dr Sayed No­fal said the league was very pleased of Kuwait’s join­ing the Arab fam­ily. He added that Kuwait ac­tu­ally has en­joyed, un­of­fi­cially, the mem­ber­ship of the league for a long time, ei­ther on po­lit­i­cal or so­cial or cul­tural are­nas. The league also is­sued a res­o­lu­tion aimed to help­ing the State of Kuwait join the United Na­tions mem­ber­ship.

Arab unity

Since join­ing the league, Kuwait has been ex­ert­ing all pos­si­ble ef­forts aim­ing to sup­port Arab unity and co­he­sion ei­ther inside or out­side the league through its rep­re­sen­ta­tive His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad AlJaber Al-Sabah, who was serv­ing as for­eign min­is­ter at that time. His High­ness the Amir played a key diplo­matic role in heal­ing the Arab rift, adopt­ing a bal­anced pol­icy, ce­ment­ing bonds of co­op­er­a­tion, and set­tling Gulf and Arab dis­putes.

Kuwait has a pi­o­neer­ing role in me­di­at­ing amongst Ye­meni par­ties in the 1960s and stop­ping the armed forces in Septem­ber, 1972 be­tween the Yemen Arab Repub­lic and the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Yemen. The me­di­a­tion made by His High­ness the Amir when he was serv­ing as for­eign min­is­ter at that time through the com­mit­tee formed by the league ended with reach­ing a Yemen’s peace agree­ment in and a deal on trade ex­change in Oc­to­ber, 1972.

His High­ness the Amir played also a key role in set­tling Le­banon’s cri­sis since the erup­tion of the civil war in 1975 un­til 1989. In 1980, His High­ness the Amir made me­di­a­tion ef­forts be­tween Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Yemen and the Sul­tanate of Oman to ease ten­sions be­tween them.

Pales­tinian cause

Re­gard­ing Kuwait’s role in sup­port­ing the Arab is­sues, the State of Kuwait has been keen on back­ing the Pales­tinian cause, the core is­sue of Arabs, in in­ter­na­tional are­nas through de­mand­ing a halt of the Is­raeli ag­gres­sion and rec­og­niz­ing le­git­i­mate rights of Pales­tini­ans. This was sub­mit­ted on May 18, 1963 in a state­ment read out by His High­ness the Amir be­fore the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

His­tory will al­ways re­mem­ber of the stance of late Fa­ther Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Ab­dul­lah Al-Salem Al-Sabah in 1970 when he con­trib­uted to lift­ing the block­ade im­posed on late Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Yasser Arafat in Jor­dan dur­ing the battles dubbed as ‘Black Septem­ber.’ Kuwait also has been sup­port­ing the Pales­tine peo­ple and gov­ern­ment through pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial and in-kind aid broth­erly Pales­tini­ans who have been un­der the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion.

As for Arab League’s stance over the Iraqi oc­cu­pa­tion of Kuwait, the league is­sued on Au­gust 10, 1990, res­o­lu­tion No. 195, which con­demned the Iraqi in­va­sion and asked, dur­ing an ex­tra­or­di­nary sum­mit, Iraq to abide by UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions. The league con­firmed at the sum­mit Kuwait’s sovereignty and in­de­pen­dence, and de­nounced Iraqi threats against Kuwait, be­fore is­su­ing con­sec­u­tive res­o­lu­tions per­tain­ing to the Kuwait’s pris­on­ers and their com­pen­sa­tion for dam­age caused by the in­va­sion. More­over, Kuwait’s con­tri­bu­tion to re­con­struct­ing Iraq is an­other ex­am­ple of its keen­ness to ex­tend bridges of co­op­er­a­tion to strengthen the Arab unity. Kuwait’s aid-ei­ther grants, or de­vel­op­ment projects eco­nomic, or loans has been ex­tended through its eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment funds to its Arab coun­tries.

Eco­nomic sum­mit

Kuwait hosted a first Arab eco­nomic, de­vel­op­men­tal and so­cial sum­mit in 2009, which was one the most suc­cess­ful sum­mits held by the league, and the Africa-Arab sum­mit, the two in­ter­na­tional pledg­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian con­fer­ences for Syr­ian and other Arab ac­tiv­i­ties as well.

Af­ter the ter­ror­ist at­tack on Kuwait’s Imam Al-Sadeq Mosque last year, the Coun­cil of Arab League at the level of per­ma­nent del­e­gates ex­pressed its strong con­dem­na­tion and de­nounce­ment of the ‘heinous’ crime.

The coun­cil stressed, in a state­ment, its full sol­i­dar­ity with Kuwait, His High­ness the Amir and Kuwaiti peo­ple in com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism. The coun­cil voiced its sin­cere con­do­lences to the Kuwaiti lead­er­ship, gov­ern­ment and peo­ple, and its pride over Kuwait’s national unity and co­he­sion.

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