Kuwait is not a “free-rider” in US-led campaigns against terrorism and other threats, a senior Kuwaiti security official said on Thursday, rejecting comments by President Barack Obama critical of some US allies.
Sheikh Thamer al-Sabah, President of Kuwait’s National Security Bureau, was referring to Obama’s remarks to The Atlantic magazine last week in which he said some states in the Gulf and Europe were “free-riders” who called for US action without getting involved themselves.
In an interview, Sheikh Thamer said Kuwait, like fellow Gulf state Qatar, had opened up air bases and airspace for the US-led coalition bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Aircraft from other Gulf countries had carried out sorties, said Sheikh Thamer, a member of Kuwait’s ruling family.
“I am just wondering what a free ride is when we do all of these things,” he said, referring to Kuwait’s role.
“When we share intelligence, when we open our air, land and sea, when we spend billions of dollars in trying to combat terrorism and trying to help the Syrian refugees, how is it free?” he added.
“I actually looked up ‘free ride’ in the dictionary and I would like other people to know what a free ride is and see what we are doing here in this part of the world, especially when he mentioned the Gulf.”
Sheikh Thamer’s comments were unusually critical of the United States for a Kuwaiti official. They echo those on Monday by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief, who said the American leader had “thrown us a curve ball” in criticizing Riyadh’s regional role.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر