VATICAN CITY: Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem met in Vatican City yesterday with Pope Francis and Vatican Prime Minister Pietro Parolin.
Following the meeting, Ghanem stressed the significance of his visit to the Vatican, also as head of the Arab Inter- Parliamentary Union (AIPU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) parliaments.
The visit acquires importance as it comes amid fears of terrorism “and reports by foreign media seeking to link terrorism to our true Islam,” Ghanem told KUNA, and Kuwait TV.
The meeting was attended by MPs Faisal Al-Shaya and Youssef Al-Zalzalah. “We have emphasized in our meeting today that Islam is a religion of peace and that terrorism is an intercontinental industry, not linked to a certain religion, race, ethnicity, people or region,” he said. Kuwait’s Chief Parliamentarian urged the world’s political leaders to denounce all forms of terrorism and to call for an interfaith dialogue. “The meeting with Pope Francis was fruitful and we as Kuwaitis are proud of living in a country and a society where toleration is dominant,” Ghanem added, noting religious tolerance in Kuwait is a strong reality, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people from several nationalities and faiths.
Ghanem said that the Israeli aggressions on Muslims and Christians in Palestine and the massacres targeting innocent people have always been a root of terrorism.
Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem
He said that the Zionist state hostilities have fueled extremism and terrorism, making it easy for terrorist groups to attract young people and subject them to brainwash. He lauded the role by Kuwait’s ambassador to the Vatican Bader Saleh Al-Taneeb, facilitating the delegation’s mission and arranging meetings.
For his part, MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah said that during the meeting with Pope Francis and Prime Minister Parolin, the delegation was briefed of the Vatican view over the Palestinian cause and the tragedies in Arab countries suffering from terrorism, especially Iraq and Syria.