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Qatar to make military service compulsory for 4 months

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DOHA (AFP): Qatar's government has approved a draft law making it compulsory for men in the Gulf state to do military service for up to four months, media reports said Thursday.

Under the proposed legislation, the first of its kind in Qatar, it would be compulsory for men aged between 18 and 35 to serve in the military for three months if they are graduates, and four if they are not.

The cabinet adopted the bill on Wednesday before submitting it to the Majlis al-Shura, or consultative council.

The move was aimed at mobilising Qataris for the defence of the country and to ensure "a regular force" that would be backed up by reservists, if necessary, the official QNA news agency reported.

A Qatari official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said "the aim of the military service is to get young Qataris to rely on themselves," and that four months was enough.

The armed forces of Qatar, which sits on the world's third largest natural gas reserves, are made up of 11,800 servicemen, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In Kuwait, parliament is debating a bill for the restoration of compulsory military service, cancelled after the Iraqi army invaded the emirate in 1990 and occupied it for seven months.

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