The Comoros says it is ready to consider taking thousands of stateless people denied citizenship in Kuwait if the Persian Gulf state makes such a request.
If the issue is raised officially, we are ready to discuss it, the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Anba cited visiting Comorian Foreign Minister Abdulkarim Mohamed as saying on Monday.
When asked if the African island nation was ready to receive Kuwait’s stateless, Mohamed said Yes, it is something we are ready to do if officially requested by the Kuwaiti government.
Some 110,000 stateless people, known as bidoons, live in Kuwait. The government says it can grant citizenship only to 34,000 of them.
After the end of British protectorate in Kuwait in 1961, officials granted citizenship only to those they called founding fathers and deprived a group of people of citizenship, who were called bidoon jinsiya or without nationality.
In November 2014, Kuwait said those bidoons not granted citizenship could be given permanent residence if they agreed to take Comorian economic citizenship.
Interior Ministry’s Major General Mazen Al-Jarrah said those who accepted the offer would be given a series of incentives, including free education, health care and the right to work.
The Comoros, a tiny archipelago 185 miles off the Mozambique coast in the Indian Ocean, hosts a population of just under 800,000 people, nearly all of them Muslims.
The impoverished Comoros is a member of the Arab League as well as the African Union (AU).
The African island nation has already provided passports for thousands of bidoons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in exchange for generous aid in a deal similar to Kuwaits proposal.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.