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Kuwait professor offers panacea for threats menacing the region
November 21, 2013, 12:43 pm

A confederation of the Gulf states is the only solution to the threats menacing the region, a Kuwaiti political activist has said.

“The US Administration has clearly stated that it cannot honour its pledges towards its allies in the Middle East,” Abdullah Al Nafisi, a political science university professor in Kuwait, said. “For this administration, Iran is the winning card and the rapprochement between the US and Iran will mark a tremendous shift in the balance of power in the region. I hope it will not succeed because it will be at our expense. The US has already started redrawing the map of the region,” he said on Tuesday at a lecture in Kuwait City.

Al Nafisi charged that the US had the power, but not the political experience to deal with the region.

“They are not like the Europeans. The Iranians and the Russians were able to make the US change the strategic course of action it had taken towards the situation in Syria, for instance,” he said.

The outspoken professor drew fire on his perceived lack of action by Gulf politicians on the Iranian issue.

“Tehran is betting on the success of its rapprochement with the West while we are idly watching. Nobody is speaking out or making statements. No one has gone to the US to take up the issue with the Americans vigorously. What is the significance of the parliament or the free press if they do not promote awareness? We need to take a hard look at ourselves and engage in introspection. We do need to have a vision for reforms,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Siyassah on Thursday.

For Al Nafissi, the Gulf union has become a necessity for survival.

“The union is not a poetic licence. It is a swim or sink situation. We need the union to preserve our existence in the future. It is a core condition for our survival. Those in Kuwait oppose the union under the claim that Kuwaitis have their own constitution and parliament should appreciate that the union will be focused on foreign, oil and military policies. All domestic matters and issues will remain as they are,” he said.

In December 2011, Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has called upon the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) established in 1981 to consider moving from the phase of cooperation to the phase of a union within a single entity.

The six members — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — welcomed the move, but while some of them showed strong enthusiasm, others said they needed more time and further details.

Several Gulf nationals have been pushing in the media and in lectures for the much-anticipated move, claiming that the recent developments in the region made it a top priority to thwart off threats.

The next international wars will be over raw materials, such as oil, wheat and water, he added.

“In the Middle East, it will be over water. We have often warned that an earthquake in the region for example will result in the nuclear plant in Iran’s Bushehr polluting all water facilities in the Gulf. The danger is very real. This plant is only 95 kilometres away from Kuwait. We are deeply in the crisis,” he said.

It is time for the Gulf countries to consider nuclear options, he said.

“We have to look forward to the future and prepare for it. We need to have our young people undergo military training through conscription, for example. They know nothing about weapons and resistance. We also need to consider benefiting from our good ties with Pakistan for a nuclear programme. We must learn not to rely on the West,” he said.


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