Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah

KUWAIT: There are 80,000 out of an estimated 110,000 bedoons, or stateless residents in Kuwait who have no hope of receiving the Kuwaiti nationality, a senior Interior Ministry official said, adding that those are required to adjust their status. This means that those people are required to legalize their status by obtaining documents showing their original nationalities.

Meanwhile, there are 32,000 person who may get Kuwait nationality, Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality and Passports Affairs Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah confirmed in an interview with Al-Anbaa daily. However, he confirmed that people who have security restrictions, which include having a criminal record, are automatically disqualified from naturalization - even if they meet all other conditions.

Sheikh Mazen further indicated meanwhile that efforts are ongoing to end the bedoons' decades-old issue. When asked about the mechanism to solve the issue of those who he said have no hope of naturalization, he mentioned "very good advantages" given for those who adjust their status, including the right to have self-sponsorship.

The Comoros

Commenting on news that Kuwait and the Comoros are negotiating to grant the African nation's citizenship to bedoons, Sheikh Mazen not only confirmed those reports, but also hinted that the Kuwaiti government held similar talks with other countries. "There is a country other than the Comoros which offered to contribute in efforts to legalize the bedoons' status," he said without elaborating. He further indicated that even a third country, whose name he said will be revealed soon, has approached Kuwait with a similar proposal.

Sheikh Mazen meanwhile clarified that granting bedoons the nationality of any country does not mean forcibly relocating them to said country. "These countries' willingness to cooperate in this regard does not mean that 80,000 bedoons will be deported to the Comoros or any other country," he said, adding that those countries only offered to issue passports and IDs to help solve the bedoons' issue.


When asked about reports concerning the deportation of people affiliated with Hezbollah, Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah said "it is not true that a committee was formed under my chairmanship to deport Hezbollah members. This this did not happen, and if it did, I will not deny it."

Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah also spoke about Kuwait's expatriate population, saying that he especially finds that the numbers of the Indian and Egyptian communities are 'above average.' "If we look at those two communities closely, we will find out that the number of adults exceeds the number of Kuwaitis of the same age group," he said. "I am not against the Egyptian or Indian labor forces, but I am trying to explain a defect that should be corrected, and this is what we are doing." In general, he said that he believes that the number of expatriate labor forces in Kuwait is "high and should be reduced." - Al-Anbaa