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Cabinet reviews GCC talks to "overcome differences"
September 2, 2014, 8:25 am
His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah during the cabinet weekly meeting.

The Cabinet on Monday discussed consensus amongst Gulf states to "mend the rift", to "overcome differences as soon as possible" and to "remove all obstacles that hinder the path of the Gulf Cooperation Council." In their weekly meeting at Seif Palace, the ministers were briefed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on his meetings with counterparts from the six-nation regional bloc in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

"Consensus had been reached to mend the rift, to contain all manifestations of temporary tensions, to place foundations and standards aiming to overcome differences as soon as possible and to remove all obstacles that hinder the path of the GCC," said the Cabinet statement.

Ministers praised the "positive results" of the talks, stressing that they reflect solidity of the GCC and high responsible spirit of its leaders." They also commended the leaders' "commitment" to the Gulf bloc and their "acknowledgement of the dangers and grave challenges in the current stage which require coherence and cohesion." Additionally, GCC foreign ministers discussed regional, Arab and international affairs, particularly the political crises and conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

The foreign minister briefed the cabinet on the outcome of separate meetings he had held with Swiss foreign ministry officials and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer in Switzerland.
Talks with Swiss foreign ministry officials in Bern tackled means for Switzerland to host an international conference discussing the situation of Palestinians under Israeli occupation according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, on the protection of civilian persons in times of war.

The conference will aim to press Israel, in light of its continuing breaches of international and humanitarian law, to conform to the convention, through Switzerland's role as a nation that is a trustee of the Geneva pact.
Meanwhile, the minister's talks with Maurer in Geneva focused on the Red Cross' role in applying the concept of international humanitarian law on the violations that the people of Gaza and other Palestinian territories have been affected by.

Separately, Kuwait's first deputy prime minister and foreign minister apprised the ministers of the talks he held with UN officials on preparations currently being made to honour His Highness the Amir as a 'humanitarian leader' at the UN HQ on September 9 in recognition of his worldwide contributions in the humanitarian field.

The preparations had been discussed with each of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Rashid Khalikov.

The Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Omair briefed the Cabinet on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, a joint project between the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University.

He pointed out that Kuwait has made tangible improvements on its environmental performance, moving up from rank 126 to 24. The Cabinet praised the efforts made by Environment Public Authority in cooperation with related bodies on the matter.

Furthermore, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Education and Higher Education Abdulmohsin Al-Madaj informed the ministers about preparations made by the Ministry of Education at the start of the 2014-15 academic year. These preparations include the maintenance of schools, the distribution of books and ensuring the return of teaching staff.

The cabinet then reviewed recommendations of the Economic Affairs Committee, at its meeting on February 2, approving a price of KD 3,000 for each plot of land in the Wafra expansion project and KD 5,000 for the West Abdullah Al-Mubarak project - each plot amassing an area of 600 sq/m and 400 sq/m respectively. The Cabinet also adopted several appointments of senior government positions.

These included the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development Hashim Al-Rifai, Assistant Undersecretary at the State Ministry for Youth Affairs Saad Al-Otaibi, the Assistant Secretary General at the Municipal Council Mohammad Al-Harees, Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Information Turki Al-Azmi and member of the Supreme Council for Allocation Ahmad Al-Hadiyya.

The Cabinet also agreed to appoint the Board of Directors of the state Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, who will be assuming a three-year tenure, including Adnan Al-Rashid, Mohammad Al-Awwash, Saleh Al-Loghani and Kholoud Al-Faili.

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