Kuwait Rules Out Early Renewal of Ties with Palestinian Authority
Kuwait on Wednesday ruled out any early renewal of ties with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and said it had not even been in contact with Yasser Arafat's administration.
"Kuwait strongly rejects the resumption of ties with the Palestinian Authority," foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah told Al-Watan newspaper, denying there had been any contact with the PA.
Palestinian international cooperation minister Nabil Shaath said Tuesday that he could visit Kuwait "within days" to pave the way for a trip by Arafat.
Shaath said he was awaiting a response from Kuwait's foreign ministry to fix the date of his visit, and that he had received specific instructions from Arafat to normalize Kuwaiti-Palestinian ties.
Kuwait's acting premier and foreign minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, however, told Al-Watan "Shaath's statements are incorrect".
Relations have remained frozen since the emirate accused Arafat of backing the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
But Sheikh Sabah embraced Arafat at the emergency Arab summit in Cairo last month and called him a "brother" while visiting injured Palestinians in Kuwaiti hospitals.
Kuwait on Sunday pledged 150 million dollars toward two funds set up at the Arab summit in aid of the Palestinians, and Shaath said Arafat has thanked the emirate for the donation.
Kuwaitis have held several rallies in support of the new Intifada, or uprising, despite lingering bitterness toward the Palestinian leadership -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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