Manama: Kuwait’s former parliament speaker has lashed out at the US over State Department comments that chided the Gulf ally over prison sentences for two bloggers.
“I am pained and aggrieved by the statement by the State Department spokeswoman who attacked the legal and constitutional procedures in Kuwait,” Jassem Al Khorafi said. “I am here drawn to compare the legal and constitutional measures taken by Kuwait and the violations of the law and the constitution perpetrated by the US over the prisoners [it is holding] at Guantanamo Bay.”
Victoria Nuland, the spokeswoman, had stressed the US administration’s criticism of the jail sentence against the bloggers for the remarks, deemed offensive by Kuwaiti authorities to the status of the country’s Emir, on a social networking site.
Nuland called on the Kuwaiti government to “adhere to its tradition of respect for freedom of assembly, association, and expression”.
However, Al Khorafi rejected the call and said that he was perplexed by the double standard policy applied by the US.
“I wonder when the US confusion over this contradiction in its attitudes will end,” he said. “Such contradictory stances cause the US to lose its credibility in the Middle East. Whoever claims they are friends with Kuwait should base their statements on the legal and constitutional measures adopted by Kuwait on factual information and on the reality on the ground. I state it plainly and clearly: Kuwait is not the low wall that anybody can climb.”
Al Khorafi, who last year left the parliament and refused to run in the December elections for a new legislative house, said that “the blame should be laid on the US ambassador to Kuwait, who is tasked by the US Department of State to convey the facts and the truth on the ground.
“Unfortunately, he does not seem to be assuming his role.”