Press Dossier    By Date   02/02/2023 MPs ask about Turkey drones, Egypt deposits

Kuwait Times, Thursday, Feb 02, 2023 | Rajab 11, 1444

MPs ask about Turkey drones, Egypt deposits

Kuwait: MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari on Monday sent a series of questions about a deal Kuwait recently signed to purchase an unspecified number of drones from Turkey, focusing on transparency and the procedures adopted in the purchase. The lawmaker wondered how the deal was completed at a time when there is no defense minister after his resignation, no chief of staff or his deputy and an acting air force chief.

Kuwait signed the $370 million deal with Turkish Baykar company to purchase an undisclosed number of Bayraktar TB2 drones, according to the Turkish manufacturer. Baykar said in a statement last week that negotiations with Kuwait’s defense ministry over the deal have been ongoing since 2019 and the fighter drone held a successful demo flight in Kuwait. During the event, the drone demonstrated its technical capabilities to operate in difficult geographical and climatic conditions, including high temperatures and sandstorms, Baykar said.

The lawmaker asked about the number of companies invited to participate in the deal and if proper procedures were followed in announcing the deal. He also asked if the tenders law was applied to the deal, especially announcing those who were qualified to participate in the deal, adding if the supreme defense council met to review the offers. Kandari also asked if the drone had been tested under Kuwait’s climatic conditions and if officials from the defense ministry visited the manufacturer’s plant.

Meanwhile, MP Osama Al-Shaheen asked Finance Minister Abdulwahab Al-Rushaid about total Kuwaiti deposits in Egypt. The lawmaker said Kuwait had maintained a deposit of $3 billion in Egypt between 1990 and 2020, in addition to a deposit of $4 billion at the Egyptian central bank, half of which matured in September and the second half will mature in April this year. Shaheen asked if Kuwait plans to send more funds to Egypt due to pressure by the International Monetary Fund on Gulf states to aid Egypt. He also inquired if any returns were made on the deposits.

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