KUWAIT CITY, May 9, (Agencies): A ceremony to launch a new terminal at Kuwait International Airport was held on Tuesday, where both His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were in attendance.
The ceremony, which was sponsored by His Highness the Amir, was also attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and other senior state officials.
In a speech at the ceremony, the Turkish president said that he was invited to the country by His Highness the Amir to launch the new terminal, an event he described as “monumental.” “This project is a testament to the special ties shared by Kuwait and Turkey,” Erdogan noted, adding that he was sanguine that “Kuwaitis would soon reap the benefits of a robust aviation sector.” Moreover, the Turkish president pointed out that “there has been substantial progress and development in Kuwait as of late and that the region is fortunate to have His Highness the Amir.”
On ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), he said that Ankara is eager to establish closer relations with the region and that Turkish companies have undertaken projects in Kuwait worth $51 billion. Erdogan also touched on His Highness the Amir’s recent visit to Turkey, which has been a magnet for some 180,000 Kuwaiti tourists. He added that the terminal, which was constructed by Turkish firm Limak Holding, “fits into Kuwait’s 2035 development plan.” “Peace and prosperity in the world is contingent on the stability of our region and Kuwaiti’s special ties with Turkey could be the catalyst for increased cooperation in the Middle East,” the Turkish president said.
In his speech, Chairman of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Sheikh Salman Sabah Al- Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said that DGCA was honored to have His Highness the Amir and the Turkish President launch the new airport terminal. On the new terminal, which he hailed as the biggest development project in the country, Sheikh Salman noted that it will ratchet up the airport’s capacity to 25 million passengers yearly and will ensure seamless and convenient travel. Moreover, he said that indicators have shown that some 23 million travelers are expected to converge on Kuwait International Airport by the year 2027. The DGCA Chairman also spoke of Kuwait’s ambitions to ramp up the airport’s capacity by setting in motion numerous landmark projects that would usher in development in the country.
He also thanked His Highness the Amir and the visiting Turkish President for launching an aviation project of epic proportions, one that will transform Kuwait’s airport into a strategic transport hub. Meanwhile, Chairman of Turkishbased Limak Holding Nihat Ozdemir said that “it was an honor to have His Highness the Amir and the Turkish President launch the new airport terminal.” He extoled the terminal as a “cultural and civil landmark as well as a link between Kuwait and Turkey that will take bilateral relations to new heights.” Ozdemir underscored the need to have a “highly skilled and efficient Kuwaiti workforce that can contribute to the development of the country, thanking the Kuwaiti government for their “confidence in Limak’s ability to build a new gateway to Kuwait.”
Afterwards, His Highness the Amir and the Turkish president were given commemorative gifts to mark the occasion. Earlier, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah held official talks with President Erdogan at Bayan Palace on Tuesday, in presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah. First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, senior state officials and the Turkish leader’s accompanying delegation were present at the talks.
Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah said the talks had handled historical relations between Kuwait and Turkey, which are always characterized by mutual understanding and sincere willingness to promote and developing bilateral cooperation in various fields. The talks also included ways of utilizing mutual investment opportunities and the current regional and international developments, he said.
The official talks were held in a friendly atmosphere that reflected mutual understanding and friendship, reflecting both sides’ willingness to bolster and consolidate existing bilateral cooperation in all domains. Erdogan said Tuesday his country’s trade with the energy-rich Gulf had yet to reach its full potential, as he visited a region where Ankara aims to strengthen ties. “We want to develop trade volume with the Gulf states, which last year reached $17.4 billion (15.9 billion euros),” Erdogan said.
“Compared with the potential we have, this size is below the required level,” the Turkish leader said. Negotiations between Ankara and the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are under way for a free trade agreement. Erdogan, who told reporters he was happy with his government’s political ties with the GCC, had previously said he aims to boost cooperation in the economic and defence sectors.