Kuwait parliament to debate GCC security pact

April 12, 2013

Kuwait’s parliament is set to look into a much-anticipated Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) security treaty, promoted as crucial in boosting collective security among the six-member states.

The pact was approved by the GCC leaders at their advisory summit in Riyadh in May, but needed to be signed by the interior ministers and endorsed by their parliaments. The ministers signed it in November.

GCC officials said that the agreement stipulated full cooperation between member states and mutual responsibilities to preserve their collective security and stability.

It also highlighted the need to promote common security arrangements to the highest standards to help combat transnational and organised crime, they said.

However, several lawmakers in Kuwait have said over recent weeks that they would not back it up if its included articles that clashed with the country’s constitution.

“The security agreement has six chapters and 20 articles and the lawmakers will debate it maybe next week,” sources told Kuwaiti daily Al Jareeda.

“Article II for instance stipulates that the state parties will cooperate with one another in the pursuit of outlaws or those wanted by the state parties, regardless of their nationality, and take necessary action against them,” the sources that the paper identified as “well informed” said.

Article 10 states that the member states will work collectively or bilaterally to achieve the effective integration of their security services as well as operational cooperation, and provide support and assistance for any state party in order to face unrest security and disaster, the sources said.

However, the pact which was strongly opposed in Kuwait when it was first announced seemed to address the Kuwaiti concerns by stating in its first article that the “states parties will cooperate within the framework of this agreement in accordance with their national legislation and international obligations.”

The sources said that Article 16 on handing over suspects, a source of contention in the past, has been amended to ensure that extraditions are based on national legislations and conventions.

“We have not seen the pact yet, but I do stand with common Gulf action as long as it does not violate the Kuwaiti constitution,” MP Mohammad Al Jabri said, quoted by the daily on Thursday.

MP Faisal Al Kindari said the security treaty was a positive step towards a Gulf confederation and that it held a special significance in the region subject to several security issues.

“We will push for endorsing the security agreement as a step forward for the Gulf nations,” he said. “However, we must make sure it is in line with the Kuwaiti constitution.

MP Mubarak Al Najada said that the main criterion for endorsing the security pact was the country’s constitution.

“Our constitution has clearly drawn the major principles of freedom. We will look at the articles through this prism. If the pact is in line with the constitution, then we will support it. If not, we will reject it,” he said.




About the author

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

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