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2002-12-17 08:39:00
Embassy Kuwait
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 005418 



E.O. 12958:N/A

1. SUMMARY. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's December 7
speech to "the sons of the People in Kuwait" has inspired
Kuwaitis to rally around their leadership and reaffirm their
gratitude for the U.S. military presence, by reminding them
of the existential threat he poses to their country. END

2. Saddam's address to "the sons of the people in Kuwait,"
read on Iraqi television December 7, was billed as an
apology but was in fact filled with insults, threats, and
incitement. To the extent that it was aimed at Kuwaitis, it
has backfired, reminding the Kuwaitis of his pronouncements
leading up to the Iraqi invasion in 1990. This has prompted
the Kuwaiti people to rally around their leadership and
reaffirm support for the American military presence in

3. In a special session held December 14, members of the
Kuwaiti National Assembly from all political currents
categorically rejected the speech and its attempts to drive
wedges between Kuwait's people and leadership, and between
the Kuwaitis and the U.S. Many speakers noted that the
speech was a flagrant violation of the Security Council
resolutions and of Beirut Arab Summit. The following
remarks were typical of the session:

MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun (independent frequently at odds with the
Government): "whoever says that there is a popular rejection
of the American presence is lying."

MP Fahd Al-Hajiri (pro-government): "We, as representatives
of the Kuwaiti people, support the presence of the friendly
troops on our land and we proudly open our hearts for them
and they are dear guests."

MP Mezyid Al-Deehani (pro-government): "Foreign troops in
Kuwait came to protect our borders in the framework of
security agreements. Let Saddam know that the American
presence is welcomed by the Kuwaiti people."

MP Meshari Al-Osaimi (liberal): "Saddam's speech is inciting
the people against their leadership and the allying troops."

MP Khamis Iqab (independent): "I request the government to
take care of the security agreements. We are not colonized
and the American presence came as per agreements and
treaties and as per our request."

MP Mubarak Al-Duwaila (Islamist): "The foreign presence in
Kuwait came to protect Kuwait after the sisterly states
proved to be unable to help protect the sisterly country
from another sisterly country. It came with the approval of
the entire people."

MP Eid Hathal (pro-government): "We hold the foreign
presence in high esteem and respect; without it Kuwait would
have been wiped out at the hands of Saddam and his clique."

MP Mubarak Snaidih (Islamist): "We affirm our keenness to
protect the American and friendly troops in Kuwait and we
have to provide them with what they want."

MP Mohammed Al-Khalifa (pro-government): "Foreign troops are
present in Kuwait as per the will of the Kuwaiti people and
we welcome them."

MP Abdul Wahab Al-Haroun (liberal): "If there have been
individual operations (against the foreign troops) this does
not mean that they express the feelings of the "Kuwaiti
Street" nor that of the Islamic currents which have openly
expressed their opinion in today's session."

MP Abdul Aziz Al-Mutawa (independent): "The Iraqi regime
should know it is we who have invited the foreign troops to
Kuwait within the framework of agreements and treaties to
protect Kuwait."

4. At the beginning of the session, the First Deputy Prime
Minister/Foreign Minister Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmad delivered
the government's statement in which he said: "The foreign
troops did not enter Kuwait as invading or occupying troops
but rather as the troops of allied countries which are
present in Kuwait - and welcomed by the Kuwaitis - pursuant
to agreements and conventions concluded between the
government of the State of Kuwait and the governments of
their countries, ratified by the National Assembly. Thanks
to these troops, after God Almighty and with the involvement
of sisterly states, for the liberation of Kuwait from the
heinous barbaric occupation. We hold on to these agreements
and the necessity of activating them as the Iraqi regime is
still threatening aggression, expansion and violation of

5. Kuwaiti NGOs and unions held a rally the evening of
December 14 to express their categorical rejection of the
speech and their support to their legitimate leadership.
Poloff and Pol FSN represented the Embassy on short notice
and were given special importance and a warm welcome. The
Chairman of the Kuwait Bar Association, who was one of the
speakers at the rally, switched to English to express thanks
to the American troops who led the coalition in the
liberation of Kuwait.