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Kuwait MP wants street named after Margaret Thatcher

Officials, Speaker pay rich tribute to Iron Lady, highlight role in freeing Kuwait

Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker has pressed for naming an avenue in Kuwait after Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, who died on Monday.

MP Salah Al Ateeqi said that the special honour would be in appreciation of her role in the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 following the Iraqi invasion, local Arabic daily Al Seyassah reported on Tuesday.

Thatcher was highly regarded in Kuwait where she enjoyed a special status among people and leaders.

Official media reported that the Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah sent a cable of condolences to Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister David Cameron, “expressing deep sympathy and sadness over the demise of Thatcher”.

“Shaikh Sabah recalled Thatcher’s historic and honourable stance toward Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990,” the media said. “The country recalls her pivotal role in bringing together an international coalition of more than 30 countries in support of the liberation of Kuwait, which will always be remembered with great admiration and gratitude by the Kuwaiti people and the world.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Al Rashid expressed “profound sadness”.

“She was a leader who was known for being one of the biggest supporters of the legitimate rights of the people,” he said in a statement.

“We recall her robust support to Kuwait after it was invaded by Iraq, which had a profound effect in ushering combined international efforts to free our country from occupation. We do recall how she said ‘this occupation will not last’ and how she harnessed the necessary tools and capabilities to put that historic position into practice — something the Kuwaiti people consider with great gratitude,” he said, quoted by the local media.

Kuwaitis see the death of the Iron Lady as a great loss to them, to the free world and to all who seek justice and freedom on this planet, he said.

“Kuwait remembers all her positions with full respect and admiration,” the speaker said.

The Kuwaiti government, in a meeting chaired by acting prime minister and interior minister Shaikh Ahmad Al Humoud Al Sabah, expressed gratitude to Thatcher for her “solid positions during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and her rejection of the occupation”.

The government said it fully appreciated Thatcher’s outstanding endeavours that ejected the occupying Iraqi forces from the country.