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Archive for Kuwait

Newsline: Turkish court rejects prosecutor request for arrest of Kuwaiti Embassy driver

An Ankara court on Tuesday dismissed a request filed for the cancelation of the release of a Kuwaiti Embassy driver who, with a group of Kuwaiti diplomats, beat up a Turkish pilot last week. The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office objected to a decision by the Ankara 4th Criminal Court of Peace to release Salahaddin A., a driver for the Kuwaiti Embassy, who removed Lt. Col. Hakan Karakuş from his car and, along with Kuwaiti diplomats, beat him up. The chief prosecutor’s office also demanded the arrest of the embassy driver. The lawyer for the driver requested that his client be kept under police monitoring. Both requests were reportedly rejected by an Ankara court. According to reports circulating in the Turkish media, a number of Kuwaiti diplomats who were traveling in a vehicle with diplomatic plates got out of the car in the middle of traffic and removed Lt. Col. Hakan Karakuş, an F-16 pilot working with NATO, from his car and beat him up in front of his wife in Ankara last week. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Turkey Abdullah Abdulaziz al-Duwaikh threatened Ankara, saying that deporting Almohaid prior to a court ruling would negatively affect Kuwaiti’s investments in Turkey.


Newsline: Kuwait denies embassy staff attacked Turkish pilot

Kuwait has denied claims that embassy staff beat a Turkish air force pilot in a road rage incident in Ankara. The country’s ambassador to Turkey, Abdullah Al-Duwaikh, denied allegations that Major Hakan Karakus was attacked in front of his wife and baby. The pilot, who had recently returned to Ankara from a NATO exercise, claimed he was taking his six-day-old infant to hospital to be vaccinated on Thursday when he was nearly involved in an accident with a Kuwaiti diplomat’s car in an upmarket district of the capital. Four men got out of the Kuwaiti car and allegedly attacked him. It is said that passersby had to intervene to prevent the officer, who was treated in hospital for his injuries, being more seriously hurt. “It is opposite of what you heard,” said Al-Duwaikh. “There were not four guys in the car, there were just our diplomat and his driver.” Al-Duwaikh claimed the diplomat was going to the bank when Major Karakus blocked his car’s path. “The bank’s security camera, security personnel and workers there are witnesses,” the ambassador said. “He kicked the diplomat’s car, there are pictures, so security told our diplomat not to leave the bank.” Al-Duwaikh also said the accused diplomat did not touch Major Karakus, accusing the flyer of involvement in blackmail. Turkish media reported that the pilot had filed a criminal complaint.


Newsline: Syria closes its embassies in Riyadh, Kuwait and Washington

Damascus has closed its embassies in Riyadh, Kuwait and Washington in an unexpected move not said to have any political dimensions, Syrian diplomatic sources said. The decision was attributed to the harassment experienced by Syrian diplomatic missions in those countries, especially when it comes to the issues of renewal of residency permits, moving within these countries, granting entry visas for new diplomats, or abusing Syrian diplomats during their entry and exit from those countries. The sources pointed out that what happened cannot be called closure of embassies, despite being empty of their employees, but could rather be seen as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calling back its diplomats to return to their country without appointing any replacements. Most of the countries that are hostile to the Syrian government want to close their embassies, but were confronted with the status quo whereby the Syrian state retains its international legitimacy and makes it impossible for them to do so, being the only body authorised to issue passports and official documents for its nationals. The official website of the Syrian Embassy in Saudi Arabia published an announcement, on its homepage, directed to the nationals of the Syrian Arab Republic residing in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities closed the Saudi embassy in Damascus in March 2012. The Syrian embassy in Washington has apologised for not being able to receive any new requests for extending and renewing passports of those residing in the United States and Canada for technical reasons.


Newsline: Philippine embassy official, staff in Kuwait face trafficking charges

Human trafficking charges should be filed against an official and several personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, a government panel recommended in a report. The Kuwait Anti-Trafficking Task Force, created last September, identified the erring government official as Ibrahim Daligdig Tanandato, assistant to the Nationals Unit head at the Consular Office of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. Tanandato violated the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 as well as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the task force said. The anti-trafficking group also recommended charges filed against Muamar Mamosion and Omar Khalil, who were hired by the embassy as Arabic translators, and lawyers Khaled Almas and Ayied Al-Subaie who were hired to represent the embassy. The complainants said a government official hired them to work as domestic helpers—with a monthly salary of 50 Kuwaiti dinars or around P7,900—without proper documentation from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. The government official then supposedly “took advantage of one of the victims by deceiving her that her back wages have not been paid yet by her previous lawyers.” The task force said the suspects, including the embassy-hired lawyers and translators, demanded money from the complainants as attorney’s fees. Two of the complainants narrated they were also recruited to handle bomb-sniffing dogs with salaries from P30,000 to P35,000. One of the complainants allegedly paid one of the suspects P10,000 as a training fee, and an Immigration officer an additional P23,000. When they arrived in Kuwait, the victims were made to sign a document stating their salary was only 110 Kuwaiti dinars or around P17,500.


Newsline: Small plane used to spy on Kuwaiti embassy in Rome

Kuwaiti Embassy officials in Rome discovered a small toy plane, which they believe, was being used for espionage activities on the embassy, reports Al-Rai daily. A reliable source was quoted as saying about a week ago that the diplomats and employees at the embassy noticed a small toy plane at a window in the building. Later, it fell into the garden due to technical fault. He explained the embassy assigned a technical team to examine the plane and they uncovered it was stereotype of spy planes used for snapping photograph from far distance. The team checked the electronic card attached to the plane and discovered it contained many pictures of the embassy and its premises, including roads leading to the location. The findings confirmed that the plane was actually there for espionage activities and the concerned authorities in Kuwait and Rome have taken over the investigations to determine the motive and personalities behind it.


Newsline: Western countries shut down embassies over ‘specific and significant’ al-Qaeda threats

The British, German, Dutch and French embassies in Yemen will be closed over ‘increased security concerns’, the European countries have announced. They blamed an ‘increased threat’ from al-Qaeda. France will close its embassy in Yemen for several days, while Germany and Britain will close theirs for two days on Sunday and Monday. Previously the French Foreign Ministry has said that the Embassy would only be shut on Sunday. Germany also warned its citizens from traveling to the country and that the situation there “is uncertain in the future”. The British embassy in Yemen will close temporarily after escalating violence and terrorist threats, the Foreign Office said Friday. While the Embassy will operate with an “essential staff,” all other British citizens were advised to leave Yemen. The British Foreign Office, which announced the Sana’a embassy would be closed from August 4 to 5, is in close contact with US officials. Meanwhile, US embassies will be closed in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Canada meanwhile has announced that its embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh would be closed on Sunday for the “safety and security of our personnel.” The Dutch embassy will also be closed on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera.


Newsline: Terror threat prompts U.S. embassy closures overseas

A terror threat prompted the State Department on Thursday to direct its embassies in key Middle East nations, including Egypt and Israel, to close on Sunday with the possibility they could remain idle longer. A U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly on the matter called the threat “credible and serious.” It was “directed at American targets overseas,” but may not be confined to main diplomatic facilities, the official said. In addition to Egypt and Israel, the State Department action includes diplomatic facilities in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and Kuwait, according to the agency and Twitter postings. A senior State Department official said the agency has told those embassies that normally would be beginning the work week on Sunday to close, but additional days could be added. Diplomatic facilities in the region are for the most part closed or operate with minimal staff on Fridays and Saturdays. Separately, another U.S. official told CNN that the Obama administration is monitoring threats against the embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.