MPs warn against participation in meeting to rescue Syrian regime
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: Kuwait will not take part in the forum to be hosted by Iran on the developments in Syria. There is no need for a conference that is counter to the international community and the Arab League, a Kuwaiti official said.
“We have informed the Iranians officially about not attending the conference,” Khalid Al Jarallah, the foreign ministry undersecretary, said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Seyassah.
The Kuwaiti decision not to attend was based on a thorough study of the Iranian invitation and of the objectives of the forum to be held as the Syrian crisis deepens with the regime continuing to kill its people and bombing cities, sources told the newspaper.
“We wonder about the reasons Iran sent out invitations to countries such as Cuba, Bangladesh and India, in addition to Russia and China and some Arab countries like Iraq, Algeria and Lebanon while it ignored other countries,” the sources that the paper did not identity said.
“Is the goal of the conference to announce the formation of a front opposing the international community, the United Nations and the Arab League?”
According to Kuwaiti daily Alem Al Yawm, Iran sent out invitations to just three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Kuwait, Oman and the UAE — while it ignored Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Quoting government sources, the paper said that Iran was also seeking to divert attention from the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit to be held at the end of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. The sources said that they expected a low representation by the countries that agreed to take part in the conference.
A Russian foreign ministry official reportedly said that Moscow would be represented by its ambassador to Iran, Levan Dzhagaryan. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hussain Amir Abdullah on Wednesday said the forum would be attended by foreign ministers from countries with regional and international influence. Several Kuwaiti MPs had called upon the government not to attend the forum, claiming that Iran was involved in the Syrian repression.
“The participation of Kuwait in the meeting organised by Iran is rejected,” Waleed Al Tabtabai said. “Iran’s hands are stained with the blood of innocent people and the meeting is being held just to rescue the [Al] Assad regime,” he said.