Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Kuwaiti emir says unity necessary to protect country in opening of new parliament term

It was his first public appearance since travelling abroad for medical treatment in early September

Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghani (L) listens to Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah (C) as he addresses Gulf emirate's parliament during the opening of its new term at the National Assembly in Kuwait City, on October 29, 2019. AFP
Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghani (L) listens to Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah (C) as he addresses Gulf emirate's parliament during the opening of its new term at the National Assembly in Kuwait City, on October 29, 2019. AFP

Kuwait's emir opened a new term of parliament on Tuesday, issuing a call for Gulf unity and national unity to protect the country from internal and external conflicts.

Addressing the parliament, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who has been acting as a mediator to resolve the Gulf dispute with Qatar, said the "row has weakened our capabilities and threatened our achievements", calling for a negotiated solution and for Gulf nations to overcome their differences.

GCC members Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in addition to Egypt, imposed a sea, land and air boycott of Qatar in June 2017 accusing it of ties to radical groups.

He said that the "people of Kuwait must take into consideration the importance of national unity and solidarity to overcome any obstacle that may cause harm to the country".

It was his first public appearance since travelling abroad for medical treatment in early September.

The emir called for national unity in the face of regional developments and protests in several Arab countries.

He also hit out at the misuse of social media, saying it has created divisions in society.

He then called on the country's National Assembly to "take proper steps focusing on the development of Kuwait and its people in cooperation with the government".

Updated: October 29, 2019 04:02 PM

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