BRUSSELS, June 24: The European Parliament (EP) welcomed on Thursday the initiative by Kuwait Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim on talks between lawmakers from the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “The (Kuwaiti) Speaker has started an initiative to organise a parliamentary dialogue with the parliaments of the Gulf region on the one hand and the European Parliament,” Foreign Affairs Committee chief David McAllister told reporters alongside the Kuwaiti top lawmaker. “I had a great conversation with the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament and I remember very well our visit to Kuwait a couple of years ago and the hospitality that we received,” said McAllister. On the EU’s ties with Kuwait, he said the country is a “crucial partner” when it comes to promoting security, stability and development in the region,” he stressed. He highlighted the “important role Kuwait plays in trying to negotiate in conflicts, and its “credibly active” contributions in the humanitarian side.
The support Kuwait is giving in Syria or in Yemen is very, very important,” said the German MEP. In a separate meeting, the Chair of European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula, Hannah Neumann, expressed her happiness in meeting Speaker Al-Ghanim in person, saying it was an “extremely productive meeting. “For us in the EU, we are very happy to have a key partner in the region working for peace and stability in the region,” she stressed. Neumann said she is looking forward to visit Kuwait at the end of this year for discussions with the Kuwaiti parliament but also to exchange views with many women who are active in politics in Kuwait. Earlier today after meeting with EP President David Sassoli, Al-Ghanim revealed talks will take place in Kuwait in the near future to “discuss all the concerned issues as well as bilateral relations between the European Parliament and the GCC.”
The six-member GCC includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman. During the visit, Al-Ghanim conducted discussions about the Palestinian situation in light of the recent Israeli attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine. In a press conference with Sassouli, Al-Ghanim disclosed that the European Parliament initially approved the proposal to hold a session between the European and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) parliaments to discuss common issues and strengthen relations between the two parties. As representative of the Arab Inter- Parliamentary Union, Al-Ghanim said he conveyed a message to Sassouli about the continuous suffering of Palestinians and the aggression of Israel, especially against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza that is considered the largest jail in the world. He stressed the importance of the European Parliament’s role in maintaining peace and justice in the region. He also highlighted the humanitarian role of Kuwait, which hosted three forums of donors for Syria and a forum on the reconstruction of Iraq. He added Kuwait has always been the just mediator, particularly in the Yemeni issue and the GCC dispute.
On the other hand, Sassouli praised the role of Kuwait in maintaining stability in the region, in addition to its humanitarian role. He revealed the talks with Al- Ghanim focused on maintaining regional stability and combating terrorism and extremism. He lauded the Kuwaiti efforts in solving regional disputes and humanitarian work. In a related development, Al-Ghanim also met Head of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula Hannah Neumann who described the meeting as fruitful. She praised the Kuwaiti efforts in solving Gulf problems and the outstanding humanitarian role; specifically in Syria, Iraq and other global issues. She said it was a pleasure meeting a great partner that seeks stability and peace — the common goal. She is looking forward to visiting Kuwait before the end of 2021 to exchange parliamentary experiences and meet female political activists who could not reach the Assembly. She stressed that this reality can be changed by working together and through hard work. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies