Kuwait blacklists Syria nationals(Day Press)
Kuwait has banned nationals from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran from entering the country over fears political unrest in those nations could pose a risk to the Gulf state’s security.
The blacklist includes trade, tourism and visit visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses, immigration sources quoted by Kuwait media said Saturday.
The Gulf state’s move was attributed to the “difficult security conditions in the five countries” and the increased risk of nationals bringing over relatives to escape arrest in their home country, immigration sources said.
A number of Gulf states have tightened border security in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts that have spread across the Middle East. Kuwait’s move came after a number of security scares including the discovery last week of explosives hidden in a pickup truck that was trying to enter an industrial seaport.
The driver of the truck was described as an Asian national by the government.
The OPEC-member hosts Camp Arifjan, a vast base in the desert south of the capital that serves as a staging post for US forces being deployed in neighboring Iraq.
In April, Kuwait said it had uncovered an Iranian spy cell that monitored the US military presence and planned to bomb “strategic” facilities. The Gulf state sentenced two Iranians and a Kuwaiti to death for their part in the alleged plot.
Iran expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats in a tit-for-tat move after the Gulf emirate said it would throw out three Iranian diplomats in the row over spy allegations.
In 2009, Kuwait foiled an al Qaeda-linked plan to bomb a US Army camp and other facilities in the country, including the state security building.