US should change policy towards Mideast: Kuwait FM


Sheikh Mohammad was briefing reporters on the one-day regional meeting between the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council members, Egypt and Jordan along with US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice.



In the meeting he asserted the need for the United States to improve its image in the Middle East which was "marred by the Guantanamo camp." "The camp in the US Naval Base in Cuba represents a flagrant violation of human rights and justice advocated by the US itself, so it must be closed down, " Sheikh Mohammad stressed.



He also asked the US during the meeting to cooperate with law-abiding charities in the Arab region with a view to replacing the illegal organizations in humanitarian work.



The Kuwaiti senior official voiced hope that the US President George W. Bush would veto the bill recently okayed by the Congress on OPEC members. "The bill, which makes the OPEC members liable to sanctions, will put those countries in a confrontation with the US. So we hope that President Bush would turn the bill down," he pointed out.



As for the extraordinary meeting of Arab League foreign ministers held in Cairo Monday, Sheikh Mohammad said the meeting reviewed the contacts between Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers on one hand and Israeli officials on the other to push forward the Arab peace initiative.



"The meeting also discussed Bush’s initiative to hold an international peace conference.


"The conferees welcomed the initiative as it includes many new positive points such as the commitment to establish a Palestinian state within the remaining period of Bush’s term," he noted.



Contacts between the Arab and US officials are underway to prepare for the proposed conference, Sheikh Mohammad said, hoping that the conference would lead to concrete results unlike a similar one held in London two years ago.



Asked about the withdrawal of Syria’s permanent representative to the Arab League Ambassador Yussef Ahmed from the extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Sheikh Mohammad said the Syrian delegation to the meeting was present in the meeting but Ahmed had "a point of view." "Ahmed who chaired the Syrian delegation was of the view that the meeting should adopt a resolution on Palestine right now. However, the meeting decided to adopt such a resolution after one month in the light of the results of the Arab League Fact Finding Committee on Gaza Strip incidents," the Kuwaiti minister disclosed.


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