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Kuwait: Parliament has right to scrutinise GCC security pact.

Manama: Kuwait's foreign minister said that the parliament had the right to look at the proposed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) security pact meticulously, but insisted that the government did not engage in any agreement that would breach local laws.

"Constitutional procedures and national legislation are highly significant in every matter related to Kuwait's regional and international agreements and commitments," Shaikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, said.

"The Kuwaiti parliament has the right to look at the GCC security agreement from all aspects. The government has confidence in the keenness of the members of parliament on reinforcing and strengthening Gulf relations and in their interest in the security and stability of Kuwait," Shaikh Sabah, also his country's deputy prime minister, said, local daily Al Rai reported, citing Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

The Kuwaiti government has been endeavouring to consolidate the GCC in all its military, economic, commercial, cultural and security aspects, he added.

The GCC, established in 1981 in Abu Dhabi, groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

A security pact between the six members have been drafted and approved by the GCC leaders.

However, while it was passed in countries such as Bahrain and Oman, it has yet to be ratified by the Kuwaiti parliament where the lawmakers have been sharply divided over its merit.

"Security is crucial as it is the shield for us on all issues. The MPs have the right to study the pact and the government is ready to sit with the committees for foreign affairs or interior or defence to explain anything they want," he said.

The government is ready to cooperate with the parliament to look at all stages and aspects of the security pact "as the higher interests of Kuwait require us to strengthen our Gulf and Arab relations," he said.

Members of the government had attended meetings with the parliament speaker, deputy speakers and with committee members and other members to sicuss the pact, the minister said.

"The government has benefited from the views submitted by the members of parliament and has also answered all queries. The government does not engage in any agreement that is outside the confines of the local legislations," he said.

On Sunday, Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al Ganem seemed to favour a postponement of the pact until the next legislative term in a bid to calm down the fervour of the lawmakers who supported or opposed the agreement and avoid clashes.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Feb 18, 2014
Words:423
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