KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait and other GCC states have decided to implement strict measures while recruiting workers from Lebanon and Syria and some other unidentified states, reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting reliable sources. This came in response to news reports which said the GCC states have received intelligence information from Beirut and Damascus that the Lebanese security forces had seized from unidentified persons 500 blank Lebanese passports during the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon on April 26, 2005. Security authorities in the GCC states believe unscrupulous persons might use such passports to carry out hostile actions against GCC states.

Meanwhile, in another unrelated development, the Interior Ministry’s General Immigration Department is currently studying a proposal for compelling persons coming into Kuwait on visit visas to undergo the same health examinations as those coming to the country to work, reports Al-Watan daily. In the first phase, only those persons seeking to extend their visit visas will be required to undergo the health inspection, confirm sources from the immigration department. This will later be extended to cover all persons coming into the country on visit visas and will be implemented once the department has made necessary preparations and has adequate staff to deal with examinations, they add.

Pointing out there are currently 1.7 million expatriates living in Kuwait, the sources said, “All these individuals underwent the required health inspection in their respective countries before coming to Kuwait.” They are also made to undergo another test upon arrival in Kuwait, they added.