MPs demand Khor Abdullah debate

KUWAIT: A number of MPs have submitted a motion calling to hold a two-hour closed debate over the Khor Abdullah waterway between Iraq and Kuwait during next Tuesday’s regular Assembly session, MP Faisal Al-Kandari said. The lawmaker said MPs want to hear briefings from the ministries of foreign affairs, defense and interior over the waterway, which has been a subject of controversy raised by various Iraqi political and militant groups.

Khor Abdullah is shared by Kuwait and Iraq and runs opposite the Kuwaiti islands of Warba and Bubiyan where Kuwait is building one of the largest container harbors in the region, the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port. Kuwaiti and Iraqi land and maritime borders had been demarcated by a UN Security Council resolution issued in 1993. In 2012, the two countries signed an agreement on the way to share the use of the narrow waterway and began implementing the agreement recently.

However, the implementation has been faced with opposition from a number of Iraqi MPs, Shiite politicians and militant groups who claim that Kuwait has taken over some Iraqi territorial waters under the demarcation treaty and the 2012 agreement. Iraqi premier and top politicians have denied these claims and said Kuwait has taken nothing from Iraq and that the agreement was signed to facilitate navigation by the two nations in Khor Abdullah.

The Assembly’s foreign relations panel discussed the Khor Abdullah issue with the government two days ago and agreed to hold the closed debate on Feb 14. Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem also said he will invite the government for the closed debate. The Kuwaiti army meanwhile categorically denied reports yesterday on social media that Iraqis have infiltrated Khor Abdullah waterway and that Kuwaiti naval forces have been placed on alert. The army said on Twitter there have been no developments in the area.

Meanwhile, opposition MP Riyadh Al-Adasani demanded yesterday that the government should present compelling evidence about alleged forgery committed by those whose citizenship has been revoked. The lawmaker warned that the selective revocation of citizenship is very serious and the government must provide sufficient evidence for the reasons of its action.
He also charged that revoking the citizenship of a number of opposition figures and activists in 2014 was done for political reasons and called for amending the nationality law to prevent such action without a court ruling. Adasani said he will send questions to the government regarding the issue and warned that he will hold the prime minister and the interior minister to account if they do not provide sufficient answers.

The court of cassation, the highest court in the country, on Tuesday supported the government’s action in revoking the citizenship of former opposition Islamist MP Abdullah Al-Barghash and 57 of his family members. The court said that the judiciary was not competent to hear citizenship cases because it is a sovereign issue.

Separately, pro-government MP Hamad Al-Harashani yesterday launched a scathing attack against the parliamentary opposition, calling them liars and plotting to take over the country and bring down the government. He also accused the opposition of plotting to spread chaos in the country and called on national forces to confront them, saying that the aim of grilling former information and youth minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah was not over the sports suspension but to revive corrupt elements he did not name.
By B Izzak

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