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Kuwait minister 'linked to Syria jihad' quits

Islamic Affairs minister, who was accused by US official of promoting jihad in Syria, has had his resignation accepted.

Last updated: 12 May 2014 13:38
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Al-Ajmi submitted his resignation following accusations that he had links with Jihadists [Kuwait News Agency KUNA]

Kuwait's ruler has accepted the resignation of Islamic Affairs Minister Nayef al-Ajmi who was accused by a senior US official of promoting "jihad" in Syria.

"I thank the emir for accepting my resignation and understanding its reasons," Ajmi, who also holds the justice portfolio, said on his Twitter account.

This is the second time in about five weeks that Ajmi says he has resigned, the AFP news agency reported. Local media says he has quit for health reasons.

In early April he submitted his resignation following accusations by a US official that he had links with Jihadists in Syria but it was turned down by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen, charged earlier this year that Ajmi "has a history of promoting jihad in Syria".

His appointment as minister in January was a "step in the wrong direction", Cohen said in a lecture in the United States, parts of which were carried by the Kuwaiti press in March.

A statement released after a March 31 cabinet meeting said ministers had followed Cohen's comments "with great attention and displeasure".

Ajmi acknowledged he had taken part in fund-raising campaigns for Syria, but insisted they had been for humanitarian purposes and not for Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra as alleged by Cohen.

Last month Ajmi said he had been unwell and undergoing tests in London when the reports of Cohen's comments surfaced in the Kuwaiti media, prompting him to cut short the tests and head home.

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