Kuwaiti researcher Fahd Al-Shelaimi, Chairman of the Gulf Forum for Peace and Security, was recently asked what was preventing the Gulf states from accepting refugees fleeing the war in Syria. "The cost of living in Kuwait is high," Al-Shelaimi responded. He further said: "At the end of the day, you cannot accept other people, who come from a different atmosphere." Al-Shelaimi made the remarks on the France24 Arabic TV channel on March 17, 2015.
Following are excerpts:
Reporter: What prevents the [Gulf] countries, including Kuwait, which belongs to the Friends of Syria Group, from receiving the people fleeing from the war?
Fahd Al-Shelaimi: Kuwait and the Gulf countries are expensive, and are not suitable for refugees. They are suitable for workers. The transportation is expensive. The cost of living in Kuwait is high, whereas the cost of living in Lebanon or Turkey is perhaps cheaper. Therefore it is much easier to pay the refugees [to stay there].
At the end of the day, you cannot accept other people, who come from a different atmosphere, from a different place… These are people who suffer from psychological problems, from trauma, and you place them in [Gulf] societies just like that…