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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens in Kuwait #kuwait #q8 #usa

great_sealU.S. Embassy Kuwait August 1, 2013 The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4.  The Department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. It is possible we may have additional days of closings as well, depending on our analysis. Accordingly, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait will be closed on Sunday, August 4.

All U.S. citizen services appointments and visa appointments have been cancelled and have been rescheduled on an individual basis.  For further information, please contact the Consular Section at consularkuwaitm@state.gov.

The Department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety.  However, beyond this announcement we do not discuss specific threat information, security considerations or measures, or other steps we may be taking.

As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Kuwait enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website at travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. Download our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes or Google Play, to have travel information at your fingertips.

Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy is located at Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa Street, Block 6, Plot 14, Bayan, Kuwait.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of emergency assistance in Kuwait, you may reach the U.S. Embassy by calling +965-2259-1001 and requesting the duty officer.

Kuwait’s traffic #kuwait

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By Nawara Fattahova (KuwaitTimes)

The traffic jams in Shuwaikh and other areas, particularly along the roads leading to the First Ring Road project, have not only made driving a frustrating experience but also turned it into a hot button issue in the wake of construction works that started on the Ghazali Road.

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) held a press conference yesterday morning to brief the media on the development and infrastructure projects and the progress being made in the implementation. Engineer Sheikh Abdulaziz Al- Sabah, Director of the Road Engineering Department at the MPW said although people were blaming the ministry for the chaos on the roads, yet the projects were being delayed because of certain unresolved issues involving some institutions regarding completion of the Jamal Abdul Nasser Development Project and the Jahra Road Development Project. “We are not getting enough land to execute the project and those in charge of some institutions are not cooperating with us. For instance, the boundary wall of the Kuwait University is an obstacle in our work. We can temporarily shift the wall, and later relocate it at its original spot. Also, the Ministry of Communication, Fire Department, and the Ministry of Electricity and Water are not communicating with us,” he pointed out.

On his part, John Andrew Faulkner, Project Director of the Jamal Abdul Nasser Development Project said that the situation may hopefully improve soon with the cooperation of the Kuwait Port Company, which is involved in the traffic flow. “They will reduce traffic in this area by imposing restrictions on heavy vehicles passing through the congested area during the day time, which is between 6:00 am and 7:00 pm. Also, they should open the Port’s gate leading to the Airport Road to end the jam,” he told the Kuwait Times. According to him, the motorists will notice improvement during the upcoming phases of the project. “The project is slated to be completed in June 2016, but most of it will be completed by 2014 which will bring relief from the traffic jams.

Even though the MPW announced the planned construction activity, still the motorists complained that adequate notice was not given. Many drivers try to find a shorter route to escape the jam, only to land up in another jam. Many roads are affected due to the Ghazali constructions,” explained Faulkner.

Patience “Drivers have to keep more patience and should leave home earlier to reach their destination. The temporary detours do cost the drivers more time than usual, but they will become used to it. Also, we assure the motorists that all temporary detour stretches would be of the same length as the original road stretch till the project is completed. We need the cooperation of the institutions involved so that the contracted work is not delayed,” he further said.

The new development has been planned keeping in mind the expected growth in traffic volumes over the next 50 years. “The project would not be affected by the planned metro project, though in my opinion the metro needs to have parking lots in different areas,” he concluded. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sabah highlighted the fact that the MPW is not delaying the work and said could prove it on the basis of documents. “We thank the Municipality and the Ministry of Health for their cooperation, but most other institutions are not cooperating and this causes delay.

The Ministry of Interior demanded that we ensure compliance on 13 observations but we are unable to comply with all of them due to the obstacles that we face with institutions which are not communicating. We will frequently hold press conferences to inform people about the situation,” he noted. Also engineer Ahmad Al-Bahar, Head of the Execution Department of Highways, spoke about the delay on Yarmour Bridge project and the fact that water pipes caused a fault in a part of the project. The MPW is working to fix this problem. He also said that the execution of Sheikh Jaber Bridge project will start in the first quarter of next year.