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03KUWAIT3830 2003-08-20 14:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, AUGUST 18-20: UN

Tags:   KU KDMR 
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1. SUMMARY: All newspapers report strong denunciations by
the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister
of Information of the bombing of the UN headquarters in
Baghdad. Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad condemned the
"terrorist attack" which "targeted the lives of innocent
employees and obstructed UN humanitarian efforts aimed at
assisting our Iraqi brothers." Condolences and condemnations
from a congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain
visiting Kuwait received front page coverage.

On August 20, a delegation from the Iraqi Governing Council
was to arrive in Kuwait as part of a Gulf tour, one daily
reports. Commentators reiterate Kuwaiti support for the
council, and criticize the Arab League and Arab countries
withholding recognition due to "its lack of elected
legitimacy." One commentator writes that "these countries
talk about the election issue as if their people had
directly elected their leaders." END SUMMARY



2. News Stories: All newspapers front page Kuwaiti
government denunciations of the attack on the UN
headquarters in Baghdad. Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-
Ahmad sent a condolence cable to UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan condemning the attack which "targeted the lives of
innocent employees and obstructed UN humanitarian efforts
aimed at assisting our Iraqi brothers." Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah described the bombing as a
"cowardly attack," and reaffirmed Kuwait's "full support for
the vital role played by the UN to maintain international
peace and security."

Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that Minister of Information, Mohammed
Abul Hasan stated that "Saddam's cronies and the ousted
regime are undoubtedly behind this explosion due to the UN's
efforts to legitimize the current situation in Iraq." He
added that the Iraqi people were the most hurt by
yesterday's explosion.

Al-Watan, Al-Rai Al-Aam and Al-Anba report on comments by
Senator John McCain and other members of his delegation upon
their arrival in Kuwait on August 19 after visiting Iraq
earlier that day. Headlines follow:

Al-Watan, front page: "Senator McCain from Kuwait:
Terrorists in Iraq are entering from Syria and Iran."

Al-Rai Al-Aam, front page: "An American official suspects
Ansar Al-Islam; Congressional delegation reaffirms `the
crime will not pass without punishment.'"

Al-Anba: "Members of Congress offered their condolences to
the families of the victims: Terrorism will not prevent us
from continuing to rebuild."

Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that a delegation from the Iraqi
Interim Governing Council, headed by its president, Ibrahim
Al-Jafari, arrive in Kuwait today as part of a Gulf tour.
Minister of Information, Mohammed Abul Hasan, said "Al-
Jafari is not here to sell a product. Receiving him in
Kuwait is an acknowledgement of his legitimacy and proof of
future cooperation with Iraq."

Editorials:



3. "The Arab World"
Liberal Salah Al-Sayer wrote in independent Al-Anba (8/18):
"In spite of the UN resolution to recognize the Interim
Governing Council, some Arab countries are still insisting
on not dealing with it, saying that the Iraqi people did not
directly elect the council. These countries talk about the
election issue as if their people had directly elected their
leaders. The position of some Arab countries towards the
Interim Governing Council serves the interests of their
political regimes. It goes without saying that the success
of the American project [in Iraq] will give birth to a new
era and spread democracy, transparency, and respect for
human rights, and will constitute an overwhelming threat to
political regimes of these Arab countries."



4. "Welcome to the Interim Governing Council Delegation"
Fahed Al-Ali wrote in independent Al-Qabas (8/20): "Both
Iraqis and Kuwaitis paid dearly for the destruction of their
countries [by Saddam Hussein], but Iraq today is striving to
turn a new page in order to take its role in the
international community. Kuwait is concerned about the
political stability in Iraq, looks forward to Iraq's
cooperation in finally resolving the POW issue. Kuwait
welcomes the delegation and we hope that future relations
will be based on wide cooperation between the two
countries."



5. "The Interim Governing Council Deserves Recognition and
Support"
Ayed Al-Manna wrote in independent Al-Watan (8/20): "Iraq's
Interim Governing Council is the true representative of all
Iraq's sects, despite the fact that it is appointed, not
elected. This is not a negative point if the Council is
striving to build a solid base for a new regime. Arabs
should recognize this Council as legitimate and far better
than Saddam's regime in order to accelerate the departure of
the foreign forces from Iraq."



6. "An Institution That Has Lost Its Credibility"
Ali Al-Baghli Duaij wrote in independent Al-Qabas (8/19):
"The Secretary General of the Arab League Amer Musa is
campaigning against the legitimacy of the Interim Governing
Council in Iraq under the pretext that it does not represent
all Iraqis. Once again, the Arab League has thrown its
weight against the will of the Iraqi people by not
recognizing Iraq's Interim Governing Council. This is a
clear indication that the Arab League had lost its
credibility."


URBANCIC