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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT5807 2003-12-27 10:39:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION SPECIAL, DECEMBER 21-23: GCC

Tags:   OIIP KU KDMR 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 005807 

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: OIIP KU KDMR
SUBJECT: KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION SPECIAL, DECEMBER 21-23: GCC
SUMMIT IN KUWAIT




1. News stories: All newspapers report on December 23 the
contents of the final communique issued at the conclusion of
the GCC Summit in Kuwait on December 22. Al-Watan, Al-Anba
and Al-Rai Al-Aam published the full official text of the
communique. Among the points of the communique highlighted
in the reportage were:

-Approval of a GCC pact to combat terrorism

-Support for Saudi Arabia's proposal on reviewing
educational curricula in GCC countries

-Support for the US plan to transfer sovereignty to the
Iraqi people

-Call to prosecute all those who committed "crimes against
humanity" in Iraq

-Denunciations of the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia over
the past months and the killing of Kuwaiti POWs and Iraqis
by the "former Iraqi regime"

-Support for the Road Map peace plan and denunciation of
"Israeli aggressions"

-Affirmation of the "importance of women in society" and a
recommendation to refer the issue of women's political
rights to "relevant ministerial committees"

-Plans for customs union and common market by 2007, and a
unified currency by 2010

-Call for Israel's signature to the Non-Proliferation Treaty

-Support for UAE in a dispute with Iran over the sovereignty
of three islands

Al-Qabas reports that the closing session of the GCC Summit
was delayed by four hours due to disputes over the
paragraphs related to reforming education and the role of
Gulf women. Al-Qabas highlights on their December 23 front
page that the paragraph welcoming the arrest of Saddam was
absent from the final communique.

All newspapers report that in his speech marking the opening
of the GCC Summit on December 21, Prime Minister, Sheikh
Sabah Al-Ahmed said Iraq was now heading towards democracy
and that Gulf states must unite to combat terrorism.

A GCC citizen in Kuwait has been arrested with plans of and
directions for using surface-to-air missles along with maps
of locations in Kuwait and other GCC countries, according to
Al-Rai Al-Aam and Al-Watan.

All newspapers report Kuwaiti efforts to mend the
differences between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the sidelines
of the GCC Summit.

Al-Watan reports that the Minister of Education Dr. Rasheed
Al-Hamad called on the GCC Summit to take up the issue of
reform of educational curricula. Al-Qabas reports that on
December 22 that Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei stated that
the idea of reforming educational curricula in Islamic
countries " was born from the womb Right wing and Zionist
institutions in the United States who adopt a policy of
aggression towards Islam."



3. "Let Us Believe In Our Leaders"
Editor-in-chief of independent Al-Qabas, Waleed Al-Nesf
opined (12/21): "This is the third GCC summit in Kuwait
since its liberation and the first after Saddam. We should
help to position the Iraqis on the right track, and help
them in the reconstruction of Iraq. We tell our leaders that
they must tackle the major issues such as confronting
terrorism, and numerous political, economical and education
reforms in addition to discussing freedom of opinion."



4. "Eliminating Terrorism"
Editor-in-chief of independent Al-Anba, Bibi Al-Marzook
opined (12/21): "Many changes have taken place in the
region after August 2, 1990 [the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait]
and September 11, 2001. GCC countries have been targeted
more than any others by terrorism. Combating the extremist
ideology requires changing the way of thinking that is
taught at schools. What we hope most is that our governments
can achieve security and stability, because if terrorism
continues the Gulf region will end up paying a dear price."



5. "A Historical Opportunity for Change"
Islamist Salafi Dr. Wael Al-Hasawi wrote in independent Al-
Rai Al-Aam (12/21): "For the first time ever, GCC countries
do not feel an external threat, especially from the Iraq.
However, this does not mean that there are not threats from
terrorist groups active in the Gulf that seek to destabilize
the region. [GCC leaders] must first pay attention to vital
and important issues, such as allowing their people to
participate in running the affairs of their countries [in
order to exploit the opportunities before them]. Second,
they must work on unifying the Gulf region by establishing a
federal system. And third, they should freeze expenditures
on weapons and instead work on establishing a unified GCC
army to confront any possible aggression."



6. "What Do We Want From the GCC Summit?"
Mohammad Al-Babtain wrote in independent Al-Watan (12/21):
"The GCC must focus on the strategic changes occurring in
the region and on establishing a Gulf common market. GCC
leaders must also work on activating the role of the GCC in
the Middle East region in establishing a decisive and direct
stance concerning terrorism and the means to combat it."



7. "The GCC and the People's Unity"
Conservative Islamist Dr. Sami Khalifa wrote in independent
Al-Rai Al-Aam (12/20): "Gulf-wide unity remains a popular
aspiration in the GCC countries. While GCC unity has become
a popular political demand, no serious attempts have been
made by [the governments of] member states to translate this
demand into reality. In the aftermath of the fall of
Saddam's regime, current political circumstances dictate the
meeting of the aspirations of GCC countries' nationals
towards the unity of the member states."



8. "The Summit: Between Optimism and Pessimism"
Dr. Shamlan Al-Essa wrote in independent Al-Seyassah
(12/23): "The final communique [of the GCC Summit] was
prepared before the beginning of the summit. It does not
consist of any new resolutions except for forming a
committee to study the possibility of linking the GCC
countries by a railway. Issues like education, combating
terrorism and the relations with the new Iraq were not
highlighted during the summit. For whatever reason, the
decisions adopted by the GCC in Kuwait were very ordinary."



9. "What Comes After the Summit"
Lawyer Jamal Al-Kandari wrote in independent Al-Watan
(12/23): "The GCC final communique did not reach decisive
decisions on important issues that should have been solved
in previous summits. Issues such as a unified currency and
new investment laws were not solved during the GCC summit,
in contrast to the Europeans who succeeded in solving many
issues [during their summit]. We agree that issues like Iraq
and terrorism are important, but that does not mean that we
ignore other important issues to the GCC countries. Our
leaders must understand that the world today is different
that it was 25 years ago, and therefore, our challenges are
greater."
MORAN