Ali Karty, Minister of State at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, reaffirmed the Sudanese government's refusal to cooperate with the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the Court's call for President Omar al Basheer's arrest on genocide charges in Darfur, reported the pan-Arab daily Asharq al Awsat. In an interview with the London-based newspaper in Vienna, Karty said that Sudan "will not waver from its stance, and will not yield to the Court's decisions", thus holding the international community responsible for the drastic repercussions that may result from ICC action against Basheer.
"Cooperating with the ICC is synonymous with relinquishing our national sovereignty and confirming the failure of our internal apparatuses," Karty stated. Sudan does not recognise the International Criminal Court and accordingly refuses to respond to its calls for Omar al Basheer's trial in the wake of the mass murders in Darfur. Asked if there is any Sudanese court that would dare try the Sudanese president, Karty retorted: "Who accuses him in the first place?"
Controversy in Kuwait over Dow venture After the Kuwait Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) convened on Sunday, the Kuwaiti cabinet held an extraordinary meeting, described as "tempestuous", that generated a quarrelsome debate over the council's decision to cancel a $17.4 billion deal with the leading US leading chemical company Dow Chemical, reported the Kuwati newspaper Al Seyassah. The decision caused wide disagreement between political groups approving and objecting to the deal in Kuwait. "With this decision, the government has sacrificed the last bit of credibility in the eyes of the members of parliament, and has abruptly let down the majority that supported it during recent tough times," said one parliamentary source.
On the other hand, Al Seyassah added, the pro-cancellation group expressed great satisfaction and relief. MP Sadoun Hammad considered backing out on the Dow venture "a step in the right direction, a bright spot on the government's slate and a brave decision on the part of the prime minister. Such a decision will open up new prospects for the legislator-executive relationship in the country." Gulf economists tackle European cartels
Some Gulf economists called on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) participants in the Muscat summit to take concrete action "to make Europeans aware of potential losses if they are to stick to their adamant positions", wrote the Omani daily Al Watan. The economists, whose names were not spelled out in the paper, asked for additional measures - not merely the suspension, already in effect, of the free-trade talks between Europe and the Gulf - as they "deem unacceptable the current discriminatory imbalance in Gulf-European relations, considering that Europe's exports and investments circulate freely in GCC countries".
The frustration mounted after "it was discovered that the reasons the EU is marketing with a view to stall the [free-trade] agreement only disguise the actual interests of Europe's largest economic cartels that will be disadvantaged by it," Al Watan reported. GCC-EU free-trade talks are two decades old, and were suspended only last Tuesday, when Abderrahman al Attiyah, GCC Secretary General, announced the news to the EU states, during preparations for the GCC summit in Muscat.
Saudi preacher calls for avenging Gaza Saudi theologian, Awad al Qarani, urged Muslims to retaliate against Israeli aggression in Gaza by "hurting Israeli interests everywhere", wrote the pan-Arab daily Al Quds al Arabi. The London-based paper said that Qarani ruled a fatwa calling on Muslims to "target everything that has to do with Israel. We should shed their blood in the same way they are shedding our fellow Palestinians' blood."
Quoting the website "Islam Online", Al Quds reported Qarami as saying: "I am hereby ruling a valid fatwa providing that Israeli interests, and everything else that has to do with Israel, shall be deemed a legitimate target for all Muslims everywhere. And I shall be responsible for this fatwa before Allah Almighty." According to Al Quds, Qarani is one of the preeminent religious figures in the "Saudi awakening movement".
* Digest complied by Asraf A El Bahi firstname.lastname@example.org