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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Kuwait renews aid pledge to Egypt despite domestic protest

While Islamist politicians and lawyers filed a law suit against their government's financial aid package to Egypt, the Kuwaiti information minister confirms that support of Egypt 'has not and will not stop'

Amer Sultan in Kuwait, Tuesday 10 Dec 2013
Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah
Kuwaiti information minister, Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah (Photo: Amer Sultan)
Views: 1880
Views: 1880

Despite the legal action initiated by its domestic opposition aiming to halt the financial aid package, Kuwait has renewed its pledge to offer its full support of Egypt's interim authorities.

The oil-rich Gulf state had announced in July it would offer a $4 billion aid package to Egypt, comprising a $2 billion Central Bank deposit, $1 billion in oil products and a $1 billion grant. 

Whether or not Kuwait has begun channelling the money to the Egyptian government remains unclear.

“Kuwaiti support of, and cooperation with, Egypt on all levels has not, and will not, stop until Egypt restores its leading role in the Arab world,” the Kuwaiti information minister, Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, confirmed.

Ahead of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf summit (GCC) in Kuwait, Al-Sabah, also the state minister for youth affairs, told a select pool of journalists that Egypt merited all assistance “as it offers the greatest sacrifices in the conflict between the Arabs and Israel.”

Al-Sabah expressed his government's wish for Egypt to “resume its leading role in the region. We have great trust and faith that the Egyptian people are capable of achieving this aim.”

In his reply to Ahram Online, the minister said the protests by some Kuwaiti Islamists and opposition activists will not deter his government's aid plan to Egypt.

“We respect all point of views and visions. Kuwait is a democratic country which accepts other opinions,” the minister said.

Arguing that their government’s financial support plan is unconstitutional and should be rectified by the people, a number of Kuwaiti lawyers and Islamist politicians filed a lawsuit to halt the aid package to Egypt.

They also claimed that while their government offers its assistance to others, it seeks to apply austere measures to its own people.

Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi accused the Gulf states of participating in a “conspiracy against the Muslim Brotherhood and democracy in Egypt.”

The Kuwaiti minister stated, however, that his government's support of Egypt was unconditional and applicable regardless of the entity in power.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) each pledged $4 billion in financial aid to Egypt following the military ouster of its first democratically-elected president amid mass nationwide protests against his rule. The Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, is actively present in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

Egypt's political crisis is on the GCC summit agenda -- convening for the first time since Morsi's overthrow -- unlike last year in Bahrain when no discussion of Egypt took place while it was ruled by the Islamist president.

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