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Tuesday , September 17 2019

EU welcomes ‘new chapter’ in ties with State of Kuwait

Meeting with EU ‘very fruitful’: Al-Jarallah

A group photo from the first Senior Officials Meeting between the European Union and the State of Kuwait in Brussels.

BRUSSELS, Nov 28, (KUNA): The European Union Tuesday expressed its intention to deepen relations and cooperation with Kuwait and praised the continued Kuwaiti mediation and humanitarian efforts led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

This was expressed in a statement issued by the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign arm, after first Senior Officials Meeting between the European Union and the State of Kuwait held in Brussels.

The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary-General EEAS, Mrs Helga Schmid and Kuwait’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid Al-Jarallah. The meeting saw both sides engaging in a strategic review of bilateral relations and was the opportunity to further develop political dialogue and to explore areas for more intense sectoral cooperation between the EU and Kuwait, it said.

The meeting launched the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement between the European External Action Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, that had been signed in 2016. The arrangement provides a framework to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest. “It marks a new chapter in this important relationship, particularly when combined with the EU’s declared intention of opening a Delegation in Kuwait City, foreseen for 2019,” it stressed.

Mediation
Political consultations covered the situation in the Gulf, with the EU commending and supporting the continued Kuwaiti mediation efforts led by His Highness the Amir as well as the overall moderating and non-confrontational approach that Kuwait plays in the region, said the statement. The two sides also discussed common regional challenges, including the situation in Yemen, Syria, Libya and the obstacles facing the Middle East Peace Process.

Both sides welcomed the latest political process in Iraq highlighting the positive outcome of it. They also agreed to continue working together to promote nonviolent solutions to conflicts, and to build upon the successful experience of co-chairing of a number of international conferences, notably focused on raising humanitarian support to Syria, the reconstruction of Iraq and the plight of the Rohingya, all of which efforts have served to make a real difference on the ground, it said.

The exchanges also sought ways to enhance sectoral coordination and cooperation, with the EU and Kuwait welcoming prospects for closer interaction in the fields of energy, development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, and security and counter-terrorism. In the field of energy, clean and renewable energy were at the core of discussions. The importance of the EU-GCC clean energy network as a tool to foster further cooperation in clean energy, technology, and policies was underlined.

The two sides also exchanged information on their respective work in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, in particular in the Middle East and Africa, discussing concrete areas of possible cooperation. Both sides stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in the fields of security and counterterrorism.

The EU provided an overview of its role and its structures in place in the security realm. Cooperation on a number of issues like exchange of information, fight against terrorism (including financing of terrorism) and cyber security were discussed at greater length.

EU-Kuwait Senior Officials Meetings will be held annually with the next meeting taking place in 2019 in Kuwait, added the statement. Meanwhile, Al-Jarallah described the result of the first senior officials meeting between the European Union and the State of Kuwait to review their strategic ties in Brussels Tuesday as very good and very fruitful. “The meeting was good, positive and very fruitful,” he told Kuwait news agency, KUNA, and Kuwait TV after the meeting.

Trade
He said they discussed bilateral ties between Kuwait and the EU and cooperation in a number of fields as well as regional issues. A Kuwaiti delegation is, today meeting with European side to discuss issues like investment, energy, security, trade and educational research, he noted.

Today’s meeting launched the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, that had been signed in 2016.

Al-Jarallah said he delivered a letter from Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, related with previous EU proposals to Kuwait to form a mechanism on counter terrorism .

The letter also refers to “Gulf differences,” he said, and added that this response is Kuwait’s vision on these proposals. The EU officials will contact EU member states for their cooperation to take forward these proposals.

The meeting also discussed the issue of visa-free travel to EU (Schengen) for Kuwait citizens and the EU side committed itself to take up contacts with the EU states to make this possible soon. Al-Jarallah said he welcomed the decision by the EU to establish a mission in Kuwait next year which signals that the relations are growing and flourishing.

The EU side expressed admiration and lauded highly the role and efforts of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah to resolve the Gulf crisis and to bring calm to the region. They also praised his humanitarian role and efforts in the region such as in Yemen or Syria or Iraq, he added. The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary-General of the European Union External Action Service Helga Schmid, and Al-Jarallah

 

By Nawab Khan

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