Do you remember the nasty article from ‘The Independent’ I posted weeks ago? The one where Robert Fisk attacked Kuwait ? Well, rejoice! An official letter was sent to the british newspaper by Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Mohammed AlـSabah. Barrad chabdy to say the least!
KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammed AlـSabah said here Wednesday that facts bearing testimony to Kuwait”s bountiful help to the world”s impoverished countries cannot be ignored. The minister made the remarks in response to a recent article written by Robert Fisk that was published on the Independent titled “Gulf War legacy flares as stingy Kuwait puts the squeeze on Iraq.”
He boasted that Kuwait was proud of being in the forefront of the countries that extends international aid to less fortunate nations and dismissed the labeling of Kuwait as “stingy.” In his letter to the editor of the Independent, the Kuwaiti foreign minister said: “I have read Mr. Robert Fisk”s article on Kuwait titled ”Gulf War legacy flares as ”stingy” Kuwait puts the squeeze on Iraq.” I must confess my great disappointment with its contents which can at best only be described as hostile, therefore a few remarks are in order to put the record straight.”
“Indeed those of you who are familiar with Kuwait quite well will undoubtedly agree that using hostile adjectives such as “stingy”, ”ruthless”, ”greedy”, ”stealing”, ”thieving” and ”mean” in describing my country are clearly baseless and fully unfounded.”
“We in Kuwait are proud and honored to be one of the leading countries when it comes to international assistance efforts in helping those countries that are less fortunate through our numerous contributions and grants undertaken by the Government of the State of Kuwait. This has been and will remain to be a cornerstone of Kuwaiti foreign policy since our independence.”
He went on to say: “Let me list just a few facts that highlight some of these efforts undertaken during the last three years only; Fact ـ According to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals report for 2005: The overall average Kuwaiti official development assistance is 1.31 percent of GNP which accounts for almost double the agreed U.N. target of 0.7 percent of GNP of advanced countries. To be sure, the average OECD”s rate is 0.46 percent of GNP which makes Kuwait”s generosity triple that of the most advanced economies.”
“Fact ـ since the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development was established back in 1961 to function as the venue through which the government of Kuwait extends foreign aid and assistance, Kuwait has extended numerous financial and technical assistance packages to more than 100 countries around the world totaling $14.5 billion.
“Fact ـ Some of the most recent efforts undertaken by the government was the creation of ”Decent Living Fund” in which Kuwait contributed $100 million as an emergency fund set up to help the less developed countries to address the issue of rising food prices. Furthermore, Kuwait has allocated $300 million towards the eradication of hunger and disease in Africa.
“Fact ـ In addition, H.H. the Amir of Kuwait has most recently called for the promotion and support of micro and medium sized projects in the Arab World by establishing a fund with a capital of $2 billion to which Kuwait contributed $500 million to kickـstart this fund (it”s worth remembering that all these generous initiatives were undertaken during a time of the unprecedented global economic crisis. Nevertheless, Kuwait has never missed the forest for the trees and remained committed in further fulfilling its international roles as a leader in foreign aid and assistance despite the current turbulent financial circumstances).
“Fact ـ Kuwait extended a helping hand to Lebanon by granting $300 million to assist in the reconstruction efforts following the Israeli aggression of 2006.
“Fact ـ Kuwait supported the Palestinians by extending a $500 million financial assistance of which $200 million was allocated for Gaza.”
He continued saying: “May I remind the author that facts are stubborn things. The aforementioned can hardly be construed as the actions taken by a ”stingy” government to use his wording.”
“So here begs a question; how can a country like Kuwait be remotely accused of malevolent intentions as stated by the author? Let me assure all your readers that Kuwait will never rest on its laurels in continuing to secure our advanced global position in assisting the needy.”
“It is also with privilege to note that there is no other country in the region that has sacrificed more than Kuwait in order to contribute in the historic task of the liberation of Iraq and its people from the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein.”
The article has also undoubtedly avoided a matter of critical significance to the maintenance of international law and order, namely the sanctity of Security Council resolutions, he noted.
States must not be allowed to pick and choose what resolutions, articles or items…etc they wish to implement as opposed to those they wish to ignore. By their very nature UN resolutions are sacrosanct and must be adhered to by all parties, he urged.
The underlining factor to Kuwait regarding the issue of reparations is, and has always been an issue of principle and never was, nor will be, an issue of money.
“It”s truly sad when people start to give credence to past accusations that have been thoroughly discredited by the facts. I am here specifically referring to the former Iraqi dictator”s lies that Kuwait was ”stealing” Iraq”s oil as a justification for invading a sovereign nation. The article has audaciously tried to victimize a ruthless dictator by indicating that Kuwait was ”thieving” oil from Iraq. Not only were these accounts an attempt at engaging in historic revisionism, but one also cannot help but ponder the motives behind such an argument.
“We must also pay special tribute to the new Iraq and its brotherly people. Iraq is undoubtedly one of the richest countries in the world in terms of heritage, culture and natural resources. As such, we in Kuwait are fully committed to the efforts of stabilizing and rehabilitating Iraq to enable its reemergence as a pivotal player of peace and security in the region; stemming from our priority to seek the construction of an ideal relationship with Iraq based on mutual respect and goodwill.”
“Finally, while it might be true that the Versailles Treaty contributed to the rise of Adolf Hitler, I am certain that the Appeasement strategy at the Munich Conference of 1938 led to the outbreak of WW2. Perhaps going back to some history books is in order after all.”
Credit: Charts & Numbers