Kuwait not planning to ban BlackBerry: minister

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The Independent Tech

Kuwait said on Sunday it had no plans to ban some BlackBerry services over security concerns as neighbouring Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are threatening to do.

"At the moment, I can tell you that there is no intention to stop BlackBerry services in Kuwait," communications minister Mohammad al-Baseeri told reporters.

He said, however, that the oil-rich state was waiting for solutions to be provided by the Canadian maker of BlackBerry, Research in Motion, to answer the concerns of those governments.

"We are in direct and indirect talks, and contact, with Saudi Arabia, UAE and the BlackBerry maker to follow up on the solutions presented by the company," he said.

Saudi Arabia appeared to be close to sealing a deal with RIM on getting access to the encrypted messenger service of BlackBerry, as the kingdom's telecom regulator delayed a service shutdown to allow tests for new solutions.

The ban was supposed to take effect on Friday, but the deadline has been stretched until Monday evening.

The UAE has set October 11 as a date to cut BlackBerry messenger, email and web browsing, over security concerns. It said the date was "final."

Meanwhile, neighbouring Bahrain and Oman said they oppose a ban on BlackBerry, a favourite tool of business travellers, while Lebanon, a frontline state with Israel, has yet to reach a decision despite its security concerns.

Outside the Arab world, India has said it is mulling a ban, and Indonesia is not ruling out the option, although on Thursday it denied that the world's largest Muslim country was considering a suspension of BlackBerry services.

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