Kuwait PM declines reappointment, emir removes senior ministers

FILE of Kuwait's former PM Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah and Parliament members in session in 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 November 2019

Kuwait PM declines reappointment, emir removes senior ministers

  • Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah asked Sheikh Jaber to form a new cabinet, state news agency KUNA said

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s caretaker Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak declined to be reappointed as premier on Monday, the state news agency KUNA reported, rebuffing the offer from the ruling emir after submitting the government’s resignation last week.

The Cabinet resignation came after lawmakers sought a no-confidence vote against the interior minister over alleged abuse of power and as a feud emerged over alleged mishandling of military funds.

The interior minister has rejected lawmakers’ charges against him.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah earlier on Monday removed his son, Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Interior Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah from their posts in the current caretaker Cabinet.

The emir sought to reappoint Sheikh Jaber as premier, a post he has held since 2011, and asked him to form a new Cabinet.

“I decline this appointment and ask that you accept that,” Sheikh Jaber said in a letter to the emir, citing media campaigns against him in the feud. It was carried by KUNA.

The defense minister had issued a statement two days after the government resignation, saying the Cabinet had stood down to avoid addressing mismanagement of some 240 million dinars ($790 million) in military funds before he assumed office. He said the Defense Ministry had submitted the case to the public prosecutor.

Kuwait’s Parliament has the power to pass legislation and question ministers. 


Iraq partially reopens Iran trade crossing

Updated 07 July 2020

Iraq partially reopens Iran trade crossing

  • The crossing was being opened only for the trade of foodstuffs, allowing in some 500 trucks from Iran per week

BASRA: Iraq partially reopened its southern Shalamcheh border crossing with Iran on Tuesday after more than three months of closure to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, border officials said.
The crossing was being opened only for the trade of foodstuffs, allowing in some 500 trucks from Iran per week and would open every Wednesday and Sunday from now on, one of the officials said.
Iraq closed its international borders and provincial boundaries in March except for the delivery of essential goods such as food as it sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Iran, which shares a long border with Iraq, has been the epicenter of the virus in the Middle East but the spread has also accelerated in Iraq which is registering nearly 2,000 new cases every day. More than 2,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Iraq according to its health ministry.
Iran is one of Iraq’s biggest trading partners. Both countries’ economies are in crisis. Iran continues to suffer from US sanctions and Iraq is reeling from low prices of oil, which accounts for almost all its state revenue.

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