Kuwaitis say Ghannouchi persona non grata in Kuwait

Many Kuwaitis, including writers and politicians, reject Tunisian parliament speaker’s upcoming visit to Kuwait for backing Iraqi invasion of Gulf emirate.

LONDON – A large number Kuwaitis, including writers and former ministers rejected the upcoming visit of Tunisian parliament speaker and leader of Islamist Ennhadha party Rached Ghannouchi, to their country, saying he was a persona non grata.

They said that Kuwaitis will not forget Ghannouchi’s support for the Iraqi invasion of their country in 1990, and for the Islamist leader’s failure to apologise until today.

They also criticized Ghannouchi’s support for the Turkish invasion of Libya, describing him as “the agent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” They slammed his hate for some countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and accused him of trading his nation's issues “in favour of the terrorist Brotherhood."

The criticism came in the wake of the announcement of the invitation to Ghannouchi to visit Kuwait by Marzouq Al-Ghanim, the speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly.

Kuwaitis took to social media to express their rejection of Tunisian parliament speaker’s upcoming visit with several hashtags trending.

They expressed their surprise and anger over inviting Ghannouchi to the Gulf emirate at a time when he faces anger and protests from the Tunisian people themselves, who reject the Brotherhood's policies and conspiracies.

Former Information Minister Saad bin Tifleh Al-Ajmi said that Ennahdha movement supported the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

“Ennahdha leader is visiting the country soon at a time when he faces parliamentary defection due to his bias in the Libyan conflict contrary to his country's position,” tweeted Ajmi.

“The timing of the visit is not prudent, and as a citizen, the visit is not welcome,” he added.

Lawmaker Riyad Ahmed al-Adasani expressed his objection to inviting Ghannouchi because of his “unjust” positions against Kuwauit during the first Gulf war.

“I register my complete objection to hosting the Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi, who had unjust and very bad positions against Kuwait during the brutal Iraqi invasion and his support for the tyrant Saddam Hussein,” tweeted Adasani.

“His invitation is rejected and should be cancelled in honour of our beloved country Kuwait and its righteous martyrs,” he added.

Ghannouchi is under fire in Tunisia for siding last month with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s Turkish-backed forces and militias following their capture of al-Watiya military airbase from military commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

The Islamist leader is facing growing calls from liberal politicians to step down for his interference in the country’s international affairs, which has triggered deep divisions in parliament.