Kuwaiti MPs to call for freeze in Jordanian relations over Saddam street row

January 9, 2010
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 Kuwaiti Members of Parliament (MPs) said that they would call upon their government to freeze relations with Jordan if the controversial issue over naming a street in a Jordanian town after Iraqi former leader Saddam Hussain is not settled.

The lawmakers, who will issue a communiqué on Sunday, said that they were scandalised by the decision by authorities in the city of Al Karak, south of Amman.

“The MPs are pained by the move to pay tribute to Saddam Hussain despite the atrocities he committed in Kuwait during the occupation,” Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Saturday quoted an unnamed parliamentarian source as saying.

Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990, but were driven out in February 1991 by a US-led coalition of several countries.

“The MPs are also surprised that the Jordanian government did not issue a communiqué stating its stance on the naming of the street and whether it had endorsed it, particularly that relations between Kuwait and Amman have been steadily improving,” the sources said.

“The silence of the Jordanian government towards such a provocative move is puzzling to the people of Kuwait, knowing that it is not logical to pay tribute to Saddam Hussain who occupied Kuwait for seven months. Jordan is a country that is supposed to respect the feelings and emotions of the Kuwaitis who are keen on bolstering relations with the Jordanians,” sources told Al Rai.

According to the paper, several MPs will press the Kuwaiti government to suspend relations with Jordan in case Amman does not clarify its stance on the issue.

Kuwaiti bloggers and online readers were divided over the issue.

Most comments condemned the decision as a provocation of Kuwaitis’ feelings and memory of their dead during the Iraqi invasion.

“This is happening when we thought that we have put the past behind us and that we are moving forward together in greater harmony. Nations need one another and should progress together,” one reader wrote.

However, some comments insisted that Jordan was a sovereign country and that it could take its own decisions, including allowing an Israeli embassy in Amman.

“We have to face the facts: To Kuwaitis, Saddam is a villain and a criminal, but to some Jordanians, he may be a hero,” one of the comments read.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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