Assembly debates Aleppo, forms new panels
A debate called by the National Assembly over the massacres in the Syrian city of Aleppo passed peacefully, with a majority of MPs strongly condemning the indiscriminate killings of civilians in the city. MPs then passed a number of non-binding recommendations calling on the foreign ministry to raise the issue of war crimes in Syria internationally. They also called on the government to resolve residency problems for Syrian nationals in Kuwait and to allow them to bring their families to live with them. They also called for increasing health aid to the Syrian people.
Before the start of the debate, 10 MPs demanded that the discussion be held behind closed doors, but after a secret debate, the proposal failed to get the required support and the debate was held in public. Despite the intense criticism of the regimes of Syria, Iran and Russia, the debate was almost free of sectarian arguments between hardline Sunni and Shiite lawmakers. There were however some minor arguments that quickly ended. Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem thanked the lawmakers at the end of the special debate for not letting the discussion deviate into sectarian rifts.
During the debate, Islamist opposition MP Adel AlDamkhi condemned the Russian-Iranian-Baathist crimes in Aleppo, adding that the eventual winners in such confrontations are always the people. Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef said the Syrian people are able to resist a huge attack against them by many countries and terrorist organizations. He called for assisting Syrians living in Kuwait.
Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said that heroes in Aleppo have been facing Russia and Iran, adding that the city has not failed, but masks have dropped from the faces of many groups like Hezbollah and Islamic State. Opposition MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei criticized the silence of the international community over the crimes in Aleppo and the whole of Syria. Shiite MP Khaled Al-Shatti however said that many of the videos coming out of Aleppo are fake and fabricated, adding that Aleppo has been liberated from terrorist groups.
Several MPs praised the humanitarian stance of the Kuwaiti government, which has already contributed around $1.6 billion in aid to the Syrian people and for hosting three Syria donors’ conferences to raise funds for Syria.
Before the debate on Aleppo, MPs elected members for six temporary committees including one for sports and youth, which is expected to play an important role in lifting the suspension on Kuwaiti sports. The Assembly also elected a committee for stateless people, locally known as bedoons. It also elected a committee for human rights and one for promoting business in Kuwait.
But a controversy erupted over a demand to form a committee to combat negative practices in the society, as a number of liberal lawmakers feared it could be used to suppress public freedoms in Kuwait. But the government welcomed its formation, with the interior ministry expecting it to help in confronting bad phenomena like drug addiction. The panel was finally formed with Islamist MPs taking the majority of its five seats. MPs also passed a recommendation asking the concerned committees to complete their reports on proposed amendments to nationality laws within two months.
KUWAIT: MPs Shuaib Al-Muwaizri (center) and Saadoun Al-Otaibi (front) are seen during an emergency session at the National Assembly yesterday to condemn crimes against humanity and mass murder committed against civilians in Aleppo.