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KIA to invest 500mn euros with Italy Strategic Fund

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 4: The 500 million euros agreement between the sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait and Italy will give a strong push to the Italian industries, and the details of the agreement will be finalized soon, said the Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who with his accompanying delegation, is winding up a two-day official visit to Kuwait as he addressed the press at the Bayan Palace Monday.

The sum of money as per the Sovereign fund agreement is ready and as soon as the deals are finalized, the process of investment will begin, he added. The premier’s visit is part of celebrations to commemorate fifty years of friendly and fruitful relations between Kuwait and Italy and also to further deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of economics, regional as well as the international arena. In his meeting with Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the two sides discussed ways and means of bolstering bilateral economic, trade, educational, development and investment cooperation as well as exchange of visits by each other’s businessmen and investors.

They also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest at the talks held in a friendly atmosphere reflecting the depth of historical and close relations between the two friendly nations. He lauded Kuwait’s efforts at trying to bring peace to Syria as well as taking a lead role in solving the ever widening humanitarian crisis as the civil war in the Middle Eastern nation drags into the third year with still no solution in sight The Prime Minister stressed that Italy has always sought to work together with its allies in the region, through a multilateral approach. Multilateralism, he noted, is the only way forward in the modern world. The prime minister considers Kuwait a crucial player for the stabilization of the region. During this visit, Letta would explore new avenues of bilateral relationship between the countries and means to enhance economic cooperation. At the end of his visit, the two sides will release the final declaration on investment plans. Italy is also looking to strengthen military cooperation with Kuwait, and the visit saw new aspects of cooperation being discussed. “Some optimistic deals have been struck between Kuwait on one side and Italy, UK, Spain and Germany on the other side.” To a question on Syria, Letta responded that Italy will work for the establishment of human rights in Syria.

Rome recently held a high-level conference of European leaders to discuss ways to end conflict in Syria. Italy is also involved in the training of military and border police in Libya in cooperation with its regional allies in an attempt to help stem the flow of refugees around the Mediterranean region. To a question on the Lampedusa refugee crisis, the prime minister said his country has been working with their European allies to help the refugees. In June this year, Italy will be holding a conference to hammer out a legal framework to deal with the refugees in Lampedusa. However, he indicated that there’s a need to differentiate between refugees and migrants from Africa. “There is a need to find new solutions to resolve the crisis.” Italy has rescued about 4000 boat refugees trying to cross over to Lampesuda from Eritrea, Somalia and other African states.

The premier added that Italy has donated money to the UN funds to help the Syrian refugees who are both internally and externally displaced as a result of the war. Letta’s visit to Lebanon made him a witness to the size of the refugee crisis. “There were 1 million refugees in a place with a population of 4 million. “Last week, when I met the president of Turkey, he told me that there were about 100,000 refugees in Turkey, fleeing the Syrian war. We have a huge problem on our hands.” Italy is seeking to get the international community involved in the crisis and find suitable solutions to end the refugee crisis. On the subject of Iran’s nuclear program, Italy’s foreign minister had recently paid a visit to Tehran to exhort Iran in the right direction, “which is to comply with the UN mandate.” Working jointly with the UN is the only solution ahead. We need a common body like the UN to reach agreements in an efficient way, he said. The premier hoped Egypt to return to normal as soon as possible, “because Egypt is an important player in the region, and its stability is crucial.” Letta has since left here, ending the official visit. He was seen off at the airport by Head of the accompanying Honor Mission, the Advisor at the Diwan of His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Dr Salem Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, and several other state officials.

By: Iddris Seidu Arab Times Staff

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