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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT2908 2003-06-30 16:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, JUNE 28-30: PROSPECTS FOR

Tags:   KU KDMR 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 002908 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD, PA, INR/NESA,
IIP/G/NEA-SA, INR/B
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA
CINCCENT FOR CCPA
USDOC FOR 4520/ANESA/ONE/FITZGERALD-WILKS
USDOC FOR ITA AND PTO/OLIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KU KDMR
SUBJECT: KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, JUNE 28-30: PROSPECTS FOR
CEASEFIRE; MIDEAST REFORM; PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS; WORLD
ECONOMIC FORUM; IRAQ; US-IRAN RELATIONS




1. SUMMARY: A top Kuwaiti official said Kuwait welcomes
the ceasefire by three Palestinian factions saying, "Hamas'
position has changed, and we welcome this positive change."
One commentator writes that Israel bears most of the
responsibility for whether the ceasefire will lead to a
lasting settlement. Another sees the World Economic Forum
meeting held in Jordan last week as part of a "Great Road
Map" in support of a "Zionist-American project to create a
new Middle East. to be integrated into the Zionist economy."

Two commentators address the issue of reform in the region,
feeling that change is necessary to combat terrorism and to
"modernize." On the news pages, the Ministry of Education
announced an effort to "review" the educational curricula in
Kuwaiti schools.

In the lead-up to parliamentary elections, a vote-buying
scandal was exposed this week, and one daily published the
conservative Islamist Salafi Movement's platform that
includes planks on gender segregation in schools and an end
to foreign troops in Kuwait. END SUMMARY.



2. News Stories: Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that Sheikh Khaled
Salman Al-Jarallah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, said Kuwait welcomes the cease-fire, and:
"Kuwait's official position towards Hamas has not changed.
Rather, Hamas' position has changed, and we welcome this
positive change."

On June 28, Al-Qabas front-paged a vote-buying scandal in
which a parliamentary candidate was caught receiving money
from a constituent. The candidate, who was reportedly paying
KD 500 (approximately USD 1500) to those who would vote for
him, will face criminal charges.

Al-Rai Al-Aam published an outline of the "the reformist
vision" of the conservative Islamist Salafi Movement
electoral platform which includes: the removal of foreign
military presence from Kuwait; the development of Kuwait's
unexploited northern oil fields "without the hegemony of
foreign companies;" and the segregation of students by
gender at all educational levels, including at foreign
schools.

Al-Watan published comments by a conservative parliamentary
candidate saying, "liberals cover up their weaknesses by
levelling accusations against Islamists." Al-Rai Al-Aam
reports that another candidate stated that, "Privatization
is a Jewish scheme for taking over the region."

Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that Mubarak Al-Mutawa, a Kuwaiti
human rights activist and the Secretary General of the
International Islamic Committee for Human Rights, stated at
a human rights conference in Belgium that, "Kuwait's
reputation in the sphere of human rights is very good."

Al-Watan reports on June 30 public comments by the Assistant
Undersecretary for Educational Research and Curriculm of the
Ministry of Education, Dr. Mohammad Al-Musaileen announcing
a Ministry plan to review the Kuwaiti educational curricula
to "explore the strengths and the weaknesses" of the current
curricula.

Al-Qabas reports on June 30 that the Council of Ministers
ratified draft Amiri Decrees for the establishment of four
private universities and colleges in Kuwait.

Editorials:



3. "Terrorism's Warm Havens"
Saud Al-Samaka wrote in independent Al-Qabas (6/28): "Our
schools are overflowing with terrorist culture, and sources
of financing [for terrorists in the Gulf] are limitless. Our
government admits that there are hundreds of charitable
committees collecting money without any legal cover. The
locomotive of change is drawing near, and Iraq will be the
model of this coming era of progress. Therefore, we must be
prepared for what is coming and deal with it with
transparency."



4. "Separation of Powers"
Liberal editor-in-chief Mohammed Al-Jassim wrote in
independent Al-Watan (6/28): "The stability of a political
system is vital for development. Our country paid dearly for
instability. Since the beginning of the constitutional era,
we have argued about democracy, the constitution and the
freedom of press in vain. Despite all appearances of
progress and prosperity, the problem is upon us."



5. "The Great Road Map"
Hamed Al-Ali wrote in independent Al-Watan (6/28): "How can
this criminal entity [Israel] continue to violate all that
other countries are asked to respect, be it on human rights
issues, WMD, UN resolutions, or impinging on other
countries' sovereignty, and still have a leading role at the
recent [World Economic Forum] held in Amman? It was clear
that America and the Zionist entity were the main two
players. [and that] the Zionist-American project wants to
create a new Middle East to serve as a `supermarket' to be
integrated into the Zionist economy. The role of the Zionist-
Americans is to see the implementation of the Great Road
Map, with the Zionists in control."



6. "The Map, If You Please"
Liberal Salah Al-Sayer wrote in independent Al-Anba (6/28):
"Many Gulf citizens believe in the status quo, and don't
consider the need for a reform road map presented by the
American Administration. To believe in the status quo is to
be shortsighted. The region is in flux, constants are
changing rapidly, and therefore, it is wise to pick up the
threads of change. The Gulf region is no exception: it is
ideologically antiquated like the rest of the region and in
need of a road map of reforms to modernize it. Events in
Iraq affirm that America is a close neighbor, and a big
sister."



7. "Loyalty to the Coalition"
Naser Al-Otaibi wrote in independent Al-Seyassah ((6/29):
"The liberation of Iraq from the grip of a tyrant after
thirty-five years is God's blessing, and a great victory for
the Iraqi people. This could not have been realized without
the courage of President Bush and the support of Prime
Minister Tony Blair. People of Iraq, do not rush the
departure of the coalition forces, because if they leave the
forces of evil will rise again."



8. "For the Truce to Achieve Peace."
Dr. Ayed Al-Manaa wrote in independent Al-Watan (6/30):
"The success of the truce between the Palestinians and
Israelis which was mediated by the United States, is a
positive step. This truce can be a permanent window to
peace. Israel bears most of the responsibility since it is
the one that usurps Palestinian land, including Jerusalem,
refuses the return of Palestinian refugees, and builds
illegal settlements. Therefore, if Israel seriously commits
itself to the truce, not only will it win American and
European approval, but also successive Arab recognition, and
will gradually emerge from regional isolation. If not, then
a new window of hell will open and only extremists from both
sides will benefit."



9. "The American-Iranian Dispute"
Dr. Shamlan Al-Issa wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (6/30):
"It is not in the interests of Gulf countries for the
American-Iranian dispute to escalate. However, the United
States will not pursue a new war in the region, especially
as President Bush is heading towards elections in seventeen
months. His main focus now is to improve the economy in his
country in order to win public opinion and votes."

JONES