KUWAIT CITY, May 17: The relations between the European Union (EU)and the State of Kuwait is historically rich, and important in every level, as proven by the visitation of the European delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP) to the State of Kuwait on the 16 and 17 of this month. In a press conference held Monday at Sheraton’s Four Points Hotel, Michele Alliot-Marie who headed the delegation affirmed that exchanges with Kuwaiti counterparts starting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on matters of mutual interests including political, economic and the social situation of the country are fruitful, and that the prospect of an even deeper relation between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Counsil (GCC) was highlighted. All the discussions were held in a spirit of confidence and shared willingness of cooperation.
It was noted that there was an exchange about the Palestine/Israel conflict where the Speaker of Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim asserted the importance of solving this issue as more and more Kuwait youth are getting attracted to it. On this matter, the delegation asserted the importance of correcting the portrayal of the Islamic religion in European countries where it has been tarnished due to extremist and terrorist groups like DAESH.
Furthermore, it was stated that Kuwait plays a very prominent peace-building role and acts as a force of stability in the region, notably in coordinating the international effort to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian and other countries affected by the conflict. The delegation also expressed its sincere appreciation to the Kuwaiti government for hosting the talks between the parties in conflict in Yemen at this crucial moment, and for investing a great deal of diplomatic effort in them.
From his side, Alyn Smith, a member of the delegation said that the Middle East faces numerous issues that must be addressed, but “we have to praise the State of Kuwait for what it has achieved in terms of reform and its efforts in the energy sector.” When asked about the human rights situation in Kuwait, Michele Alliot-Marie stated that human rights in Kuwait has the closest proximity to the EU, but it does not mean that it is on par, as capital punishment is still practiced here while it has been abolished in all EU countries. But she did point out recent Kuwaiti legislations are very promising in this aspect and that the EU is looking to work alongside the Kuwaiti authorities to further its betterment.
At this crucial moment when Kuwait and all the GCC countries alongside the EU face common challenges, not to say the least in the fields of security and economy, the delegation believes that it is vital to gain more knowledge of each other’s traditions, cultures, economics, social and political systems and to develop more effective means of cooperation in order to tackle these challenges for the benefit of all.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb – Arab-Times Staff