Yemen issues protests to Kuwait over insults [Archives:2006/956/Local News]

June 19 2006

SANA'A, June 18 ) Yemen officially protested to Kuwait over what it called “frequent insults” toward Yemeni political leaders by prominent Kuwaiti dignitaries, the government media reported Saturday.

In a meeting with Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdurrahman Al-Utaibi, Dr. Abu-Bakr Al-Qirbi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, informed him of Yemen's discomfort over the frequent insults to the Yemeni government and people, the Yemeni news agency Saba said.

The Saba news agency provided no details about the nature of the insults or the people involved. The Yemeni government has voiced its anger in recent years over public criticism of President Saleh by Kuwaiti journalists and opposition members of parliament.

What enraged the Yemeni government this time around was that the Kuwaiti MP Muslim Al-Barrak criticized his government for being lenient toward the countries that backed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, including Yemen.

According to official sources, Al-Utaibi informed the Yemeni government that Al-Barrak does not represent the Kuwaiti leadership and the government cannot take any procedures against him.

“Such insults aim at damaging the distinguished ties between Yemen and Kuwait,” the agency quoted Al-Qirbi as saying at the meeting with the Kuwaiti diplomat.

Al-Qirbi requested that the Kuwaiti government “confront any act that could harm the interests of the two countries” and “take legal actions …to avoid any escalation that is intended to cause damage to the brotherly relationship,” between the two countries.

Yemen has yet to restore its once warm ties with Kuwait that were damaged by Yemen's opposition to international, non-Arab, military action against Iraq after it invaded the oil-rich gulf state in 1990.