KUWAIT: Kuwaiti citizens hold a demonstration in Irada Square opposite the National Assembly yesterday to express their rejection of any normalization of ties with Israel. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A group of Kuwaitis staged a peaceful protest outside the National Assembly yesterday against normalization of ties with Israel. They held banners in Irada Square saying ‘normalization with Israel is betrayal’ and the ‘Kuwaiti people reject normalization and peace deal with the Zionist entity’.

US President Donald Trump claimed last week that Kuwait was likely to normalize ties with Israel soon. The remarks were made at the White House on Friday following a ceremony in which Trump awarded HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the prestigious Legion of Merit, a top US honor. The honor was received by Sheikh Nasser, the Amir’s eldest son, as HH the Amir is undergoing medical treatment in the US.

A number of lawmakers have called on the foreign ministry to issue a statement denying Trump’s remarks. In a question to Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah, MP Mohammad Al-Dallal inquired about Trump’s remarks, which contradict Kuwait’s official position and parliamentary and popular positions, which reject the Israeli occupation and establishing ties with Israel. He also asked if the government contacted the US administration to see why Trump made such remarks and if the Kuwaiti government has denied the country’s intention to normalize ties with Israel.

Dallal also asked if the Kuwaiti delegation which received the award discussed the issue of normalization with US officials and why the foreign ministry has not issued any statement regarding Trump’s remarks, which apparently aim at involving Kuwait in the normalization issue. The UAE and Bahrain last week signed deals with Israel at the White House, breaking decades of Arab consensus that there would be no relations with the Jewish state until it had made peace with the Palestinians.