KUWAIT: Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet’s weekly meeting yesterday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Dr Janan Bushehri announced yesterday that the Cabinet has agreed to reduce the symbolic value of Al-Mutlaa city’s residential lots from KD 5,000 to KD 3,000 (from $17,000 to $10,00). The move comes upon the directives of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. In a press statement after the weekly cabinet meeting, Bushehri said that at the behest of His Highness Prime Minister and his support for the housing issue and a presentation tabled at the meeting, the Cabinet decided to approve this issue.

She added that the Public Authority for Housing Welfare submitted to the Cabinet a study on the symbolic value of Al-Mutlaa city’s residential lots, noting that the number of beneficiaries of this reduction exceeds 28,000 Kuwaiti families. The Minister of Housing stressed keenness of Public Authority for Housing Welfare to support the citizens and ease their financial burdens, especially in the modern housing units and border cities, thanking His Highness the Prime Minister for his continuous support to the housing issue and citizens.

Certificate check

Meanwhile, the Cabinet commended the efforts of an ad hoc committee entrusted with checking the university documents of Kuwaiti citizens and residents alike. This came during the cabinet’s discussion of the committee’s report on the recently raised issue of forged university documents at a customary weekly meeting held at Bayan Palace and presided over by Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

The cabinet also listened to a briefing from Minister of Education and Higher Education Hamed Al-Azmi, who doubles as the head of the committee, Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said in a statement following the meeting. Having checked a total 6,050 certificates, the panel has sent a number of forged documents to the Public Prosecution as a prelude to legal action against those involved in the case, Saleh said.

Al-Qabas daily had reported yesterday that an Egyptian man, who had masterminded the forgeries of degrees in Kuwait and then fled to Egypt, Turkey and UAE in an attempt to escape arrest, is finally in Kuwaiti custody. After his name was sent to Interpol, security sources said UAE security authorities arrested the suspect, notified Kuwait and handed him over. During initial interrogations, the suspect admitted that another Egyptian working at a university outside Cairo had been providing him with blank degrees from various Egyptian universities and that he later filled in holders’ data as required. The suspect also stressed that he has full information about those he had sold the fake degrees to, noting that they are mainly Kuwaitis.

Ministers congratulated

Also locally, the Cabinet congratulated the newly appointed ministers, wishing them the best of luck in serving their respective country’s national interests, he added. Internationally, the Cabinet offered heartfelt condolences to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the victims of a recent helicopter crash.

The Kuwaiti ministers also deplored a recent attack on the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which left a number of people dead or injured. They further voiced vehement condemnation of a tourist bus blast in Egypt’s Giza Governorate. In this regard, the cabinet resounded Kuwait’s unwavering position based on decrying violence and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reiterating that it stands side by side with Libya and Egypt. – KUNA