Kuwait MPs Reject Debate Over Yemen War


 Parliament on Tuesday rejected a demand by a Shiite MP to question the foreign minister over Kuwait's participation in Saudi-led airstrikes against Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen.

A majority of lawmakers approved Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah's stand that questioning on the Yemen war would breach the constitution.

Forty-five MPs voted in favor, nine against while two abstained.

Lawmakers who backed the move said that declaring war is a sovereign issue decided by the emir.

However, parliament accepted a motion to hold the questioning behind closed doors.

But MP Abdulhameed Dashti, who made the initial request for the grilling, walked out in protest saying the move was unconstitutional.

Speaker Marzouk al-Ghanem then removed the grilling from the agenda.

Since March 26, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Huthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh after they overran large parts of Yemen.

There are just seven Shiite MPs in Kuwait's 50-seat parliament, while Shiites constitute around a third of the 1.3 million native Kuwaitis.

Dashti is an outspoken critic of the Sunni-ruled Gulf state of Bahrain over its alleged mistreatment of majority Shiites, and also of Saudi Arabia for having sent troops to Manama.

He currently faces two criminal investigations, instigated by the foreign ministry, for allegedly endangering diplomatic ties with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Along with Kuwait, all are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council which also includes Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Oman is the only GCC member not taking part in the Saudi-led coalition waging the Yemen air war.

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