30 May 2007 - 14:21
  • News Code: 105970

Kuwaiti Oil Minister has expressed regret over remarks he made in a newspaper that led to calls by parliamentarians for his resignation.

"I express my apology for any [offending] phrase in the interview," KUNA news agency quoted a statement by Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah as saying on Tuesday.


Sheikh Ali came under pressure to apologize in public and step down over his comments that he had sought advice on oil issues from a former oil minister who was investigated by prosecutors for graft.


"It is I who bear political and legal responsibility vis-a-vis all that happens at the oil ministry ... I find no embarrassment in clarifying once more that I never allowed anyone to interfere in the work of my ministry and will never do," Sheikh Ali said in the statement, adding, "I will continue to work to serve my country and its people."


A member of parliament said on Monday that he and other deputies were planning to question Sheikh Ali amid calls by politicians for his resignation.


A questioning session is one of Kuwaiti parliament"s sharpest weapons in disputes with cabinet ministers as it could lead to a no-confidence motion.


Sheikh Ali came under attack after a newspaper printed an interview in which he said he sought advice on oil issues from his relative and former oil minister, Ali al-Khalifa al-Sabah, who was investigated over the alleged embezzlement of $130 million at Kuwait Oil Tanker Co. (KOTC). "He is my master and I consult him occasionally on oil issues," he had told the paper.



News Code 105970

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