Kuwait Donates $150m for Palestinian Support Funds
Kuwait decided Sunday to contribute 150 million dollars toward two funds set up at the Arab summit in Cairo on October 22 in support of the Palestinians.
"Based on directives from the emir (Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah) and in implementation of decisions of the emergency Arab summit ..., the council of ministers decided to contribute 150 million dollars," the cabinet said in a statement.
The summit agreed to set up two solidarity funds for the Palestinians worth a total of one billion dollars.
A 200-million-dollar fund is for families of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israel and the other 800 million dollars is for development projects in the Palestinian territories and for the preservation of east Jerusalem's Arab character.
Saudi Arabia, which made the original proposal, has already committed 250 million dollars, and the remaining 600 million dollars is expected to come from the other oil-rich Gulf monarchies.
The cabinet statement expressed Kuwait's total support for the rights of the Palestinian people "to establish their independent state on their national territory."
Kuwaiti-Palestinian ties, which were frozen following the 1990 Iraqi invasion of the emirate when the Palestinian leadership sided with Baghdad, have been on the mend over the past few weeks.
Kuwait's acting premier and foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, embraced Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Cairo summit and later called him a "brother" while visiting injured Palestinians in Kuwaiti hospitals.
The speaker of the Palestinian legislative assembly, Ahmad Qorei, said Thursday that Palestinian-Kuwaiti ties were improving rapidly.
Apart from treating five Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the emirate's hospitals, Kuwait has also rushed emergency medical aid to the territories.
Kuwaitis have held several rallies in support of the new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, despite lingering bitterness toward the Palestinian leadership -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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