Kuwait / by Michelle Ryan

During the 71st session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the Kuwaiti delegation gathered support for its campaign to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council in next year’s elections. A member of the Kuwaiti royal family was sentenced to three years in prison by a Kuwaiti court on 21 September after insulting the Emir on social media. The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with the Costa Rican minister of foreign affairs on 22 September, regarding a visa waiver of diplomatic and private passport holders. Kuwait’s permanent delegate to the UN, Jamal Al-Ghneim, emphasised the need for increased discussion on the recurring human rights abuses taking places in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council on 23 September. Tighter security restrictions were put in place in Kuwait this month in order to maintain security during the Islamic period of Murharram according to Kuwait’s interior ministry. Sara Al-Drees, an activist from Kuwait, was detained for 21 days for criticising the Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, on Twitter on 26 September. Khaled Al Jarallah, Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister, announced on 27 September that the Kuwaiti government would be willing to hold further peace talks on the Yemeni conflict in the future. Kuwaiti politicians demanded an emergency session of parliament on 22 September to discuss the rise in petrol prices which came into effect on 1 September. Crude oil exports from Kuwait to China rose by 65 per cent compared to August stated Kuwait’s General Administration of Customs on 23 September. Kuwait’s finance undersecretary, Khalifa Hamada, emphasised the detrimental effect the current economic structure of the country is having on economic growth.

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