KUWAIT. Geography People Government Economy Human Rights Historical Background of Modern Kuwait The Gulf Wars Foreign relations of Kuwait. Geography. Formal name Kuwait or The State of Kuwait Location
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KuwaitorTheState of Kuwait
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
total: 462 km
bordercountries: Iraq 240 km, SaudiArabia 222 km
dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
petroleum, fish, shrimp, naturalgas
country comparison to the world: 139(July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4(2009 est.)
total population: 77.71 years
country comparison to the world: 52(2009 est.)
Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%
Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Kuwait is a constitutionalemirate(monarchy), governed by the al-Sabah family.
6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir
approved and promulgated 11November 1962
civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); CrownPrince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah
Head of government: Prime Minister NASIR AL-MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 3 April 2007)
First Deputy Prime Minister :JABIR AL-MUBAREK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006)
Deputy Prime Minister: MUHAMMAD AL-SABAH al-Salim al-Sabah (since 9 February 2006)
Elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appointsthe prime ministeranddeputy prime ministers.
UnicameralNational Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held 16 May 2009 (next election to be held in 2013)
High Court of Appeal
None; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law
ABEDA, AfDB (nonregionalmember), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
$150.2 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
$55,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
2.2% (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
5.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
practically no crops; fish
petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
2.741 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
2.349 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
12.7 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
oil and refined products, fertilizers
Japan 18.4%, South Korea 14.6%, India 11.5%, US 8.9%, Singapore 7.9%, China 6.1% (2008)
food, constructionmaterials, vehiclesandparts, clothing
US 11.9%, Japan 9.2%, Germany 8.1%, China 7.6%, SaudiArabia 7%, Italy 4.8%, UK 4.2% (2008)
In June 2007, Kuwait became among the worst offenders in human trafficking according to a report issued by the United States Department of State.
Becausemigrantworkers wereplaced under the sponsor system which puts them under the mercy of their employers restricting their movement which has been widely described as "modern day slavery".
As an Islamic State, alcohol is forbidden in Kuwait, although it's available on the black market. Drinking or carrying alcohol in public is illegal.
In June 2007 the National Assembly of Kuwait unanimously passed a law to restrict the hours that women are allowed to work. The law bars women from working between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am with an exception forwomen working in the medical profession. Women are also prohibited from jobs that "contravene with public morals" and that require women to be in otherwise all-male environments.
According to the 2004 full report, Kuwait ranks among the most free countries in the Middle East for the press, but there is still widespread self-censorship of local and foreign press, and certain subjects are understood to be taboo.
Private media enjoys a great deal of freedom in Kuwait, yet is subject to governmental sanctions for violating news and publication laws. The press is economically dependent on state financial subsidies.
ArabicdailynewspapersfromKuwaitinclude: Al-Rai Ala-Am ( PublicOpinion ); Al-Seyassah ( Policy ), Al-Qabas ( Starbrand ), Al-Watan ( The Home-land ), Al-Anbas ( The News ), Al Dostoor
Newspaperspublished in English includetheKuwait Times , KuwaitToday , Arab Times ,The Washington Post is alsoreceived in Kuwait.
On April 25, 2007, Kuwaiti lawmaker SalehAshour called in a statement for reopening Kuwait's embassy in Baghdad and for strongly supporting the government in Baghdad. İt wassaidthat it is too early to reopen the Kuwaiti embassy in Baghdad and that this issue should wait until security situations improve.
Although Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are strong allies and cooperate within OPEC and the GCC, Riyadh disputes Kuwait's ownership of the Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands.
As a member of the UN Security Council in 1990 and 1991, Yemen abstained on a number of resolutions concerning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and voted against the "use of force resolution." Kuwait responded by canceling aid programs, cutting diplomatic contact, and expelling thousands of Yemeni workers.
Kuwait is India's second largest supplier of crude oil and non-oil bilateral trade was over one billion US dollars in 2008.
After the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 Pakistani army engineers were involved in a programme of mine clearance in the country. Kuwait was also the first country to send aid to isolated mountain villages in Kashmir after the quake of 2005, also offering the largest amount of aid in the aftermath of the quake ($100m).
Strategic cooperation between the United States and Kuwait increased in 1987 with the implementation of a maritime protection regime that ensured the freedom of navigation through the Persian Gulf for 11 Kuwaiti tankers that were reflagged with U.S. markings.
The U.S.-Kuwaiti strategic partnership intensified dramatically again after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
Kuwait and the United States worked on a daily basis to monitor and to enforce Iraq's compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and Kuwait has also provided the main platform for «Operation Iraqi Freedom»since 2003.
Kuwait also is an important partner in the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against international terrorism, providing assistance in the military, diplomatic, and intelligence arenas and also supporting efforts to block financing of terrorist groups.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey describes the current relations at "outstanding levels". Bilateral trade between the two countries is around 275 Million dollars. The two countries have recently signed fifteen agreements for cooperation in tourism, health, environment, economy, commercial exchange and oil.