Al-Sabah: Reform Crucial for Gulf Rulers

Arab News06.07.2011 Kuwait
Al-Sabah: Reform Crucial for Gulf Rulers

Al-Sabah: Reform Crucial for Gulf Rulers

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Gulf Arab Rulers should enact economic and political reforms or risk raising the ire of their citizens, Kuwait's Prime Minister was quoted as saying in Al-Hayat daily.

Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah’s remarks came 2 weeks after the country's Emir warned there would be "zero tolerance" for anyone threatening Kuwait's security.

The world's 4th largest oil exporter has seen limited demonstrations but, thanks to a generous welfare system, avoided the mass protests that toppled Rulers in Egypt and Tunisia.

"We believe that the reform process in all Gulf countries is an important and crucial matter. It is not possible to realize growth and stability in any country without economic and political reforms and to realize welfare of the people", Sheikh Nasser told the daily during a tour of the Gulf Arab states.

In January, the government announced plans to spend nearly $ 5 billion, or around 4% of its GDP, on cash grants and free food rations.

Sheikh Nasser, who is currently heading his 7th government since his appointment by Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in 2006, has undergone fierce criticism from Kuwaiti opposition for what they say is his failure to fulfill the demands of the people.

He survived a non-cooperation motion against him in Parliament last month after being questioned about favoring relations with Iran over other Gulf neighbors.

On Monday, Sheikh Nasser called for improved relations with Iran. Relations between the two states have deteriorated over the past year with Kuwait accusing Iran of running a spy cell in the Gulf state.

"We always strive to strengthen our relations and collaboration in various areas with the Islamic Republic of Iran as it is a Muslim neighbor and we have historic ties with it," Sheikh Nasser was quoted as saying.


Source: Arab News; Al-Hayat



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