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1961 recast Kuwait history for all times Leadership built a nation

KUWAIT, Feb 25, (KUNA): A Kuwaiti astronomer and historian said on Tuesday Kuwait’s 1961 Independence Year marked the promulgation of many regulatory decrees and laws, along with accomplishments in various development realms.

The independence of Kuwait was intrinsically the most important event to the Kuwaiti people in 1961 when the 1899 British protection treaty was scrapped, Adel Al-Saadoun said to KUNA. The actual independence of Kuwait was on 19 June 1961 when the late Amir Sheikh Abdallah Al-Salem Al-Sabah exchanged two important memorandums with the British political residency in the Arabian Gulf Sir William Los.

The memorandums contained “the cancellations of 1899 Treaty as it is incompatible with the sovereignty and independence of Kuwait” and that “relations between Britain and Kuwait shall continue on the basis of strong friendship”. The State had made great achievements during that period, primarily the opening of a new road linking Kuwait City and the northern border and procurement of the first military jet plane and Shell’s oil exploration concession in Kuwait, he said. In 1961, the then government dispatched 12 Kuwaitis to England for diplomatic training missions in an initial step towards the establishment of the State’s independence.

The first Kuwaiti posts labeling the Kuwaiti currency were issued, he added. Also in the same year, Kuwait issued its first national currency of the dinar in place of the Gulf Rupee, with the dinar having been equal to 13.3 Rupees at the time, Al-Saadoun pointed out. Kuwait’s subterranean water was first discovered at Al-Rawdatain in 1961, and its population was 321,621, including 161,909 Kuwaiti citizens, the Kuwaiti historian said. An Amiri decree was issued in 1961 authorizing a petrochemicals company with an estimated capital of KD 16 million, together with another Amiri decree introducing a municipal election system.

Ten electoral constituencies were approved, he noted. A foreign affairs department was established in the same year as Kuwait broadened its scope of relations with world countries and international organizations. 62 countries recognized the sovereignty and independence of Kuwait by the end of this year. Moreover, a new flag was created to replace the old flag of Kuwait which was in red color and the word “Kuwait” was in the middle in line with an Amiri decree.

The new era of independence necessitated many new legal, constitutional and diplomatic procedures, the most prominent of which was the issuance of an Amiri decree that calls for general elections for a constituent assembly that was authorized to draft the state constitution, he remembered. Also in 1961, the independence year of Kuwait, major social, youth, technical and economic achievements were made; a local football championship, an economic development fund, a Kuwaiti TV, an investment firm and a flour mill, he concluded.

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