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Democracy finally prevails in Kuwait

Democracy has ultimately prevailed, wrote Mohammed Gharib Hatim in an opinion article published by the Kuwaiti news daily Al Watan.

The state of Kuwait and Kuwaitis are the winners after the parliamentary interrogation session of the prime minister and democracy has ultimately prevailed, wrote Mohammed Gharib Hatim in an opinion article published by the Kuwaiti news daily Al Watan. He added that the ruling family has always respected democratic principles and played a major role in upholding those principles. 

Kuwaitis must stand against sectarianism, tribalism and ideological divisions and work together for Kuwait in a spirit of tolerance and friendliness.   It is time for the Kuwaiti government to prove to the Kuwaiti people that it is determined to work and achieve results, after the parliament performed its checks-and-balances role and the cabinet passed the test of interrogation.  It is time to "brush the dust off all the latent issues" and get back to work rapidly to complete the research and projects that have been delayed for a long time.  The ball is now in the government's court and it has to face the multiple challenges of the present. If any fear if felt by the government because of the parliament's monitoring role, let it be a fear that starts with the improvement in the quality of services and puts an end to delays in vital and strategic projects for Kuwaitis.

There is a personal and intimate relation between King Abdullah II of Jordan and the Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, and this has allowed both countries on several occasions to avoid the pitfalls of reciprocal misunderstanding, wrote Samy al Zubaidi in the Jordanian daily Al Rai.

However, the two countries are required today to go beyond the mere fact of understanding each other's positions to build a strong and privileged relationship that can stand in the face of any regional or international "typhoon" - a relationship that takes advantage of this mutual understanding but is based on economic, political and security interests.    Positive and confidence-based bilateral relationships are vital for Syria, but also for Jordan which needs a bridge to enter the rich and promising space that is Turkey.   

The two countries also need to work, with Lebanon, on a single giant tourism project, marketing all three countries in one regional package in Europe, America and the Middle East.  The King has started his second decade in power with a radical but meticulously studied programme of change. Syria and Jordan have the capacity to create, through mutual concord, the seeds for a larger Arab solidarity, based on unbreakable economic and popular links. 

Obviously, the military experts and politicians who elaborated the US strategy announced by President Barack Obama for Afghanistan did not have in mind the Asian country's long history of thwarting war strategies, wrote Mohammed al Humairi in the Qatari newspaper Al Sharq. The country defied the strategies of Alexander the Great 2,300 years ago, the British Empire in 1842 and the Soviet Union in 1989.

The same US experts seem to have neglected to think about the complexity of the political and security situation in Afghanistan and its tragic worsening after eight years of US military presence. Moreover, the Afghan government is further tightening its links with drug and war lords in what seems to be preparation for the post-US withdrawal, scheduled for July 2011.  This government is also getting prepared for any development in its relations with a US administration that has repeatedly described it as corrupt.

Many analysts had expressed the hope that President Obama would change the course followed by his predecessor. He has hinted that he will foster national reconciliation among the Afghan factions, particularly since he seems convinced of the uselessness of an endless US war in that country. By sending more troops to destroy the Taliban infrastructure, he will probably receive this answer from Mullah Omar: if you have hours to spend, we have all the time. 

The Palestinian Liberation Organisation's central committee decided at the end of a meeting in Ramallah to extend the mandate of the president Mahmoud Abbas, reported the London-based Palestinian daily Al Quds in an editorial.   The central committee's deputy chairman, Mohammed Sobeih, said that the move was aimed at avoiding a constitutional vacuum while the Israelis are escalating their offensive through uninterrupted settlement plans in the occupied territories.

Whatever motivations are put forward, the PLO's move remains unconstitutional and the institutions promoted by the extension have no legitimacy. Mr Sobeih's argument will fail to convince many who will judge it void of any logic.   How can a non-elected central committee extend the mandate of an elected institution?   President Abbas, whose mandate terminated last January, will remain in office, with or without the PLO's central committee's decision to extend it, but the legislative council will not be able to convene anytime soon as most of its members are in detention and neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority want it to exercise its functions.

* Digest compiled by Mohamed Naj mnaji@thenational.ae

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