MP Demands Apology from Kuwaiti FM over Arafat's Embrace

Published May 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah should make an apology to the people of Kuwait for embracing Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, MP Abdulmohsen Jamal demanded Wednesday. 

"I demand that Sheikh Sabah make an apology to the Kuwaiti people for this strategic mistake. Arafat has not apologized to us and shaking his hand is an insult to the entire nation," said Jamal in a statement. 

Jamal, who is the spokesman for parliament's external relations committee, said the panel would demand an explanation from Sheikh Sabah and "a convincing justification" for the embrace.  

Arafat on Monday shook hands twice with the veteran Kuwaiti official during Yemen's unity celebrations, despite a years-long rift over Iraq and the Gulf war. 

The two men were among dozens of foreign guests who were in Sanaa for Monday's 10th anniversary of the unity of north and south Yemen. 

It was the first contact between a senior Kuwaiti official and Arafat, accused by the emirate of backing the Iraqi occupation in 1990. 

Last year, Kuwait's crown prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah snubbed Arafat at Moroccan King Hassan II's funeral but shook hands with Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak, whom “he failed to recognize.” 

The emirate has restored normal ties with Jordan, Yemen and Sudan, the other Arab states accused of backing Saddam in his seven-month occupation of Kuwait, but relations with the Palestinians remain frozen. 

Kuwait has no relations with Israel, although Oman and Qatar have commercial ties with the Jewish state – (AFP)  


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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