US embassy cable - 01KUWAIT3081

TFUS01: KUWAIT'S FOREIGN MINISTER: "BIN LADEN KNOWS NOTHING BUT TERRORISM"

Identifier: 01KUWAIT3081
Wikileaks: View 01KUWAIT3081 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Kuwait
Created: 2001-10-11 11:05:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL KPAL KU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 111105Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9830
GCC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE  IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA, IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 003081 
 
STATE FOR TASK FORCE 1 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD 
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL 
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA 
USCINCCENT FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, KPAL, KU 
SUBJECT: TFUS01: KUWAIT'S FOREIGN MINISTER: "BIN LADEN KNOWS 
NOTHING BUT TERRORISM" 
 
REF:  KUWAIT 3077 
 
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SUMMARY 
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1.  KUWAIT'S DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN MINISTER, 
SHAYKH SABAH AL-AHMAD, CONVOKED THE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF OF THE 
KUWAITI NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES OCTOBER 10 TO DISCUSS THE 
GOVERNMENT'S VIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION.  SHAYKH SABAH'S 
STATEMENTS WERE CARRIED OCTOBER 11 BY ALL PAPERS ON THE 
FRONT PAGE.  BELOW ARE KEY EXCERPTS, INCLUDING HIS 
REAFFIRMATION OF KUWAIT'S STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE 
INTERNATIONAL COALITION AGAINST TERRORISM AND PRAISE FOR 
PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT RECOGNIZING "THE PALESTINIAN 
STATE."  THE FOREIGN MINISTER STATED THAT BIN LADEN DOES NOT 
KNOW PALESTINE AND DOES NOT CARE FOR THE PALESTINIANS, 
OBSERVING, "HE KNOWS NOTHING BUT TERRORISM." 
 
2.  PARA 8 REPORTS THE STATEMENTS OF DR. MOHAMMED AL-SABAH, 
KUWAIT'S MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, UPON HIS 
RETURN OCTOBER 10 FROM THE OIC CONFERENCE IN DOHA.  DR. 
MOHAMMED AL-SABAH STRESSED THAT THE OIC FOREIGN MINISTERS 
HAD REFUSED TO MIX THE CONCEPT OF TERRORISM -- TARGETING 
UNARMED INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO ACHIEVE POLITICAL GOALS -- 
WITH THE LEGITIMACY OF NATIONAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT FOREIGN 
OCCUPATION AND IMPERIALISM. 
 
--------------------------- 
FOREIGN MINISTER TO EDITORS 
--------------------------- 
 
3.  AL-QAEDA SPOKESMAN TO BE STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP:  THE 
FOREIGN MINISTER ANNOUNCED THAT KUWAIT WILL STRIP SULEIMAN 
BU GHEITH, THE KUWAITI IMAM WHO IS THE SPOKESMAN OF AL- 
QAEDA, OF HIS CITIZENSHIP. (SEE REFTEL.)  "THIS IS THE LEAST 
WE CAN DO TO MAINTAIN KUWAIT'S SECURITY FOR THIS PERSON IS 
MORE AFGHAN THAN KUWAITI AND HE DOES NOT REPRESENT THE 
PEOPLE OF KUWAIT."  THE FOREIGN MINISTER DESCRIBED BU GHAITH 
AS COMMITTING "TREASON AND CRIMINAL ACTS." 
 
4.  KUWAIT'S STAND ON TERRORISM:  THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID 
THAT KUWAIT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO REJECT ALL 
FORMS OF TERRORISM, RECALLING KUWAIT'S OWN EXPERIENCE WITH 
TERRORISM IN THE 1980S.  "KUWAIT SUPPORTS THE WAR AGAINST 
TERRORISM AND TERRORISTS WHEREVER THEY MAY BE AND WE 
ENCOURAGE ALL TO ERADICATE THIS PHENOMENON.  ULTIMATELY, WE 
ARE MUSLIMS AND ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE.  A TRUE MUSLIM 
IS PEACEFUL IN WORDS AND DEEDS."  HE STRESSED THAT TERRORISM 
IS UNISLAMIC.  "WE SUPPORT COMBATING THOSE WHO SUPPORT 
TERRORISM OR HARBOR TERRORISTS OR OFFER ANY SUPPORT FOR 
TERRORISM."  HE ALSO STRESSED THAT KUWAIT IS AGAINST 
TERRORISM, NOT PEOPLE, OR COMMUNITIES, OR RELIGIONS.  "WE 
SUPPORT THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION WHOSE AIM IS TO 
ERADICATE TERRORISM."  HE SAID THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST 
TERRORISM IS BASED ON UN RESOLUTIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL 
AGREEMENTS, ADDING "KUWAIT IS BOUND" TO ABIDE BY THESE 
INSTRUMENTS. 
 
5.  KUWAIT'S RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES:  DURING THE 
OCTOBER 13 VISIT OF DEFENSE UNDER SECRETARY DONALD FEITH, 
SHAYKH SABAH RECOUNTED, "THE UNITED STATES DID NOT ASK FOR 
ANYTHING EXCEPT THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION WITHIN THE 
FRAMEWORK OF COMBATING TERRORISM.  WE HAVE ASSURED ALL 
AMERICAN OFFICIALS WHOM WE HAVE MET THAT WE ARE AGAINST 
TERRORISM AND THAT WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN AMERICA'S POSITION 
IN SUPPORT OF US IN 1990 WHEN KUWAIT WAS INVADED.  WE HAVE 
NOT FORGOTTEN THAT WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH THEM." 
 
6.  KUWAIT'S VIEW OF U.S. ROLE IN PEACE PROCESS:  SHAYKH 
SABAH CITED AN ARABIC PROVERB WHICH MEANS 'THERE IS A SILVER 
LINING IN EVERY CLOUD.'  "AMERICA HAS NOW BEGUN TO LOOK WITH 
INTEREST AT THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE.  WE EXPRESSED OUR HOPES 
DURING FEITH'S VISIT THAT AMERICAN OFFICIALS WOULD KEEP IN 
MIND THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE BEFORE THE WORLD FOR THE 
PALESTINIAN CAUSE AND THAT THE PALESTINIANS HAVE SUFFERED A 
GREAT INJUSTICE."  SHAYKH SABAH ALSO CALLED ON THE AMERICAN 
ADMINISTRATION TO UNDERTAKE POSITIVE AND PRACTICAL MEASURES 
TO SOLVE THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE AND TO ESTABLISH A 
PALESTINIAN STATE.  HE TOLD FEITH: "SOLVING THE PALESTINIAN 
ISSUE IS ALSO PART OF COMBATING TERRORISM." 
 
7.  SHAYKH SABAH PRAISED PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT 
RECOGNIZING "THE PALESTINIAN STATE."  HE EXPLAINED THAT 
THERE WAS AN AMERICAN INITIATIVE WITH REGARDS TO THE 
PALESTINIAN STATE THAT WAS UNDERWAY IN COOPERATION WITH 
SAUDI ARABIA BUT THE SEPTEMBER 11 TERRORIST ATTACKS 
POSTPONED THIS INITIATIVE.  HE SAID, "I DON'T KNOW THE 
DETAILS OF THIS INITIATIVE."  HE ALSO SAID THAT SAUDI ARABIA 
HAD PRESSURED THE ADMINISTRATION TO FIND AN AMERICAN 
SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.  HE ADDED THAT BIN LADEN DOES NOT 
KNOW PALESTINE AND DOES NOT CARE FOR THE PALESTINIANS, 
OBSERVING, "HE KNOWS NOTHING BUT TERRORISM." 
 
8.  KUWAIT'S REGULATION OF ISLAMIC CHARITIES:  THE FOREIGN 
MINISTER ALSO TALKED IN DETAIL ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S 
CONSULTATIONS WITH ISLAMIC CHARITIES AND PLANS TO REGULATE 
THE COLLECTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHARITABLE ASSISTANCE. 
 
----------------------- 
KUWAIT ON OIC STATEMENT 
----------------------- 
 
9.  NO LINK BETWEEN TERRORISM AND LEGITIMATE RESISTANCE: 
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DR. MOHAMMED AL- 
SABAH, SPOKE TO THE KUWAITI PRESS OCTOBER 10 UPON HIS RETURN 
FROM THE OIC CONFERENCE IN DOHA.  HE STRESSED THAT THE OIC 
FOREIGN MINISTERS HAD REFUSED TO CONFUSE THE CONCEPT OF 
TERRORISM -- TARGETING UNARMED INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO ACHIEVE 
POLITICAL GOALS -- WITH THE LEGITIMACY OF NATIONAL EFFORTS 
TO COMBAT FOREIGN OCCUPATION AND IMPERIALISM.  WITH REGARD 
TO ATTACKS AGAINST MUSLIM OR ARAB STATES, DR. MOHAMMED AL- 
SABAH SAID:  "ANY SUCH ATTACK WOULD BE UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF 
INTERNATIONAL LEGITIMACY, AND THERE IS AN IMPLICIT CONSENSUS 
THAT IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN TO 
DEFEND THEMSELVES UNDER ARTICLE 51 OF THE UN CHARTER. 
THEREFORE, THE MILITARY ACTS IN AFGHANISTAN WERE NOT 
DENOUNCED." 
 
10.  DR. MOHAMED AL-SABAH ADDED:  "AT THE SAME TIME, 
HOWEVER, WE HAVE DEMANDED THAT ISRAEL DOES NOT USE THE 
EXCUSE OF COMBATING TERRORISM TO ATTACK ARAB 
COUNTRIES...THERE WILL BE AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON 
COMBATING TERRORISM WHICH WILL DESIGNATE SPECIFIC CONCEPTS 
(OF TERRORISM)." 
 
 
JONES 

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