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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01KUWAIT3081 2001-10-11 11:05:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

TFUS01: KUWAIT'S FOREIGN MINISTER: "BIN LADEN KNOWS

Tags:   PREL KPAL KU 
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O 111105Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9830
GCC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE  IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA, IMMEDIATE
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 003081 

STATE FOR TASK FORCE 1
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA
USCINCCENT FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAL KU
SUBJECT: TFUS01: KUWAIT'S FOREIGN MINISTER: "BIN LADEN KNOWS
NOTHING BUT TERRORISM"

REF: KUWAIT 3077

-------
SUMMARY
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1. KUWAIT'S DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN MINISTER,
SHAYKH SABAH AL-AHMAD, CONVOKED THE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF OF THE
KUWAITI NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES OCTOBER 10 TO DISCUSS THE
GOVERNMENT'S VIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION. SHAYKH SABAH'S
STATEMENTS WERE CARRIED OCTOBER 11 BY ALL PAPERS ON THE
FRONT PAGE. BELOW ARE KEY EXCERPTS, INCLUDING HIS
REAFFIRMATION OF KUWAIT'S STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE
INTERNATIONAL COALITION AGAINST TERRORISM AND PRAISE FOR
PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT RECOGNIZING "THE PALESTINIAN
STATE." THE FOREIGN MINISTER STATED THAT BIN LADEN DOES NOT
KNOW PALESTINE AND DOES NOT CARE FOR THE PALESTINIANS,
OBSERVING, "HE KNOWS NOTHING BUT TERRORISM."



2. PARA 8 REPORTS THE STATEMENTS OF DR. MOHAMMED AL-SABAH,
KUWAIT'S MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, UPON HIS
RETURN OCTOBER 10 FROM THE OIC CONFERENCE IN DOHA. DR.
MOHAMMED AL-SABAH STRESSED THAT THE OIC FOREIGN MINISTERS
HAD REFUSED TO MIX THE CONCEPT OF TERRORISM -- TARGETING
UNARMED INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO ACHIEVE POLITICAL GOALS --
WITH THE LEGITIMACY OF NATIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT FOREIGN
OCCUPATION AND IMPERIALISM.



--------------------------


FOREIGN MINISTER TO EDITORS


--------------------------





3. AL-QAEDA SPOKESMAN TO BE STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP: THE
FOREIGN MINISTER ANNOUNCED THAT KUWAIT WILL STRIP SULEIMAN
BU GHEITH, THE KUWAITI IMAM WHO IS THE SPOKESMAN OF AL-
QAEDA, OF HIS CITIZENSHIP. (SEE REFTEL.) "THIS IS THE LEAST
WE CAN DO TO MAINTAIN KUWAIT'S SECURITY FOR THIS PERSON IS
MORE AFGHAN THAN KUWAITI AND HE DOES NOT REPRESENT THE
PEOPLE OF KUWAIT." THE FOREIGN MINISTER DESCRIBED BU GHAITH
AS COMMITTING "TREASON AND CRIMINAL ACTS."



4. KUWAIT'S STAND ON TERRORISM: THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID
THAT KUWAIT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO REJECT ALL
FORMS OF TERRORISM, RECALLING KUWAIT'S OWN EXPERIENCE WITH
TERRORISM IN THE 1980S. "KUWAIT SUPPORTS THE WAR AGAINST
TERRORISM AND TERRORISTS WHEREVER THEY MAY BE AND WE
ENCOURAGE ALL TO ERADICATE THIS PHENOMENON. ULTIMATELY, WE
ARE MUSLIMS AND ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE. A TRUE MUSLIM
IS PEACEFUL IN WORDS AND DEEDS." HE STRESSED THAT TERRORISM
IS UNISLAMIC. "WE SUPPORT COMBATING THOSE WHO SUPPORT
TERRORISM OR HARBOR TERRORISTS OR OFFER ANY SUPPORT FOR
TERRORISM." HE ALSO STRESSED THAT KUWAIT IS AGAINST
TERRORISM, NOT PEOPLE, OR COMMUNITIES, OR RELIGIONS. "WE
SUPPORT THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION WHOSE AIM IS TO
ERADICATE TERRORISM." HE SAID THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST
TERRORISM IS BASED ON UN RESOLUTIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL
AGREEMENTS, ADDING "KUWAIT IS BOUND" TO ABIDE BY THESE
INSTRUMENTS.



5. KUWAIT'S RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES: DURING THE
OCTOBER 13 VISIT OF DEFENSE UNDER SECRETARY DONALD FEITH,
SHAYKH SABAH RECOUNTED, "THE UNITED STATES DID NOT ASK FOR
ANYTHING EXCEPT THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION WITHIN THE
FRAMEWORK OF COMBATING TERRORISM. WE HAVE ASSURED ALL
AMERICAN OFFICIALS WHOM WE HAVE MET THAT WE ARE AGAINST
TERRORISM AND THAT WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN AMERICA'S POSITION
IN SUPPORT OF US IN 1990 WHEN KUWAIT WAS INVADED. WE HAVE
NOT FORGOTTEN THAT WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH THEM."



6. KUWAIT'S VIEW OF U.S. ROLE IN PEACE PROCESS: SHAYKH
SABAH CITED AN ARABIC PROVERB WHICH MEANS 'THERE IS A SILVER
LINING IN EVERY CLOUD.' "AMERICA HAS NOW BEGUN TO LOOK WITH
INTEREST AT THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE. WE EXPRESSED OUR HOPES
DURING FEITH'S VISIT THAT AMERICAN OFFICIALS WOULD KEEP IN
MIND THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE BEFORE THE WORLD FOR THE
PALESTINIAN CAUSE AND THAT THE PALESTINIANS HAVE SUFFERED A
GREAT INJUSTICE." SHAYKH SABAH ALSO CALLED ON THE AMERICAN
ADMINISTRATION TO UNDERTAKE POSITIVE AND PRACTICAL MEASURES
TO SOLVE THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE AND TO ESTABLISH A
PALESTINIAN STATE. HE TOLD FEITH: "SOLVING THE PALESTINIAN
ISSUE IS ALSO PART OF COMBATING TERRORISM."



7. SHAYKH SABAH PRAISED PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT
RECOGNIZING "THE PALESTINIAN STATE." HE EXPLAINED THAT
THERE WAS AN AMERICAN INITIATIVE WITH REGARDS TO THE
PALESTINIAN STATE THAT WAS UNDERWAY IN COOPERATION WITH
SAUDI ARABIA BUT THE SEPTEMBER 11 TERRORIST ATTACKS
POSTPONED THIS INITIATIVE. HE SAID, "I DON'T KNOW THE
DETAILS OF THIS INITIATIVE." HE ALSO SAID THAT SAUDI ARABIA
HAD PRESSURED THE ADMINISTRATION TO FIND AN AMERICAN
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. HE ADDED THAT BIN LADEN DOES NOT
KNOW PALESTINE AND DOES NOT CARE FOR THE PALESTINIANS,
OBSERVING, "HE KNOWS NOTHING BUT TERRORISM."



8. KUWAIT'S REGULATION OF ISLAMIC CHARITIES: THE FOREIGN
MINISTER ALSO TALKED IN DETAIL ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S
CONSULTATIONS WITH ISLAMIC CHARITIES AND PLANS TO REGULATE
THE COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHARITABLE ASSISTANCE.



--------------------------


KUWAIT ON OIC STATEMENT


--------------------------





9. NO LINK BETWEEN TERRORISM AND LEGITIMATE RESISTANCE:
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DR. MOHAMMED AL-
SABAH, SPOKE TO THE KUWAITI PRESS OCTOBER 10 UPON HIS RETURN
FROM THE OIC CONFERENCE IN DOHA. HE STRESSED THAT THE OIC
FOREIGN MINISTERS HAD REFUSED TO CONFUSE THE CONCEPT OF
TERRORISM -- TARGETING UNARMED INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO ACHIEVE
POLITICAL GOALS -- WITH THE LEGITIMACY OF NATIONAL EFFORTS
TO COMBAT FOREIGN OCCUPATION AND IMPERIALISM. WITH REGARD
TO ATTACKS AGAINST MUSLIM OR ARAB STATES, DR. MOHAMMED AL-
SABAH SAID: "ANY SUCH ATTACK WOULD BE UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF
INTERNATIONAL LEGITIMACY, AND THERE IS AN IMPLICIT CONSENSUS
THAT IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN TO
DEFEND THEMSELVES UNDER ARTICLE 51 OF THE UN CHARTER.
THEREFORE, THE MILITARY ACTS IN AFGHANISTAN WERE NOT
DENOUNCED."



10. DR. MOHAMED AL-SABAH ADDED: "AT THE SAME TIME,
HOWEVER, WE HAVE DEMANDED THAT ISRAEL DOES NOT USE THE
EXCUSE OF COMBATING TERRORISM TO ATTACK ARAB
COUNTRIES...THERE WILL BE AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
COMBATING TERRORISM WHICH WILL DESIGNATE SPECIFIC CONCEPTS
(OF TERRORISM)."


JONES