Kuwaiti Government Vows to Wait for Parliament's Approval of US Guns Deal
The Kuwaiti government pledged on Friday to hold back on finalizing a 436-million-dollar deal to buy 48 US Paladin howitzers until it has won parliament's approval.
"The ministry will not sign the guns deal without the approval of parliament," Defense Minister Sheikh Salem al-Sabah said, quoted in Al-Anba newspaper.
"The ministry has never thought of surpassing the constitutional procedures in such deals," the minister added.
Parliament's public funds protection committee recommended on July 9 that the government should abandon the deal "because the guns are not fit for Kuwait's military".
The US manufacture ring firm, United Defense, has modified the guns to be more suitable for the Kuwaiti army based on requests made by the oil-rich Gulf desert emirate.
But the committee said in its report to parliament that the new modification will still not make the guns suitable to function under Kuwait's harsh climatic conditions.
Parliament, which has started a three-month summer recess, will only discuss the report after it reconvenes in October.
"The parliament will discuss the report in detail and then take the decision that is in the interest of Kuwait, which we will abide by," the defense minister said.
The defense ministry initialed the deal in November 1998 by signing a letter of offer and acceptance, but the procedures were halted because of stiff parliamentary opposition - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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