According to the state news agency Kuna on Sunday, the emirate's only Shia Muslim cabinet member denied any link between his resignation and a planned investigation.

He said he stepped down "to safeguard my country from being a subject of political controversy and squabbling in which all of us will be losers".

Kuwait's prime minister warned last month that any parliamentary questioning could fan sectarian tensions between Kuwait's Sunni Muslim majority and the minority Shia Muslim communities.
  
But the Islamists who asked to question the minister on Monday denied the move was sectarian.
  
Sectarian issues

Abu al-Hasan had been called upon to face allegations of failing to "safeguard the principles, values and morals" of Kuwaiti society and of committing a string of constitutional and legal violations, they said.
  
The ex-minister served as Kuwait's permanent representative at the United Nations for 22 years before returning to the emirate to be appointed information minister 18 months ago.
  
Shia form about one-third of the emirate's indigenous population of some 950,000. They have five members of parliament in the 50-member parliament, down from six in the previous chamber.