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Ties, regional affairs to dominate talks – Amir visit historic

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 5, (KUNA): Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Jarallah said that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s Thursday visit to the US will offer the chance to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues of common concern at the highest level. Speaking to Al-Majlis TV on Monday, Al-Jarallah said that both countries share a “strategic partnership” of huge interests and distinguished relations, which could be further boosted as a result of the visit. During the visit, both sides will discuss increasing cooperation on economic, investment, energy, military and security aspects, which constitute extreme importance to the two amid circumstances and challenges facing the region and the world, he said.

The first and foremost of these challenges is the growing issue of the war on terror, Al- Jarallah said, which the international community, as a whole, suffers from. The visit is also an opportunity for the signature of several agreements, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries, which will form appropriate mechanisms for the promotion and development of bilateral relations, he added.

Other matters on the agenda will be those that “pose a challenge to the security of Kuwait and the United States,” in general, particularly the “regrettable” dispute and “continuing threat” that is undermining the 36-year-old GCC bloc. Anxiety over this dispute is shared by Kuwait and the US alike, who have a strategic view of the bloc, characterised by respect and admiration, he said.

Expressing hope it is resolved, he mentioned His Highness the Amir’s efforts to contain the dispute, which has received the appreciation of the international community. The US has been at the forefront of supporters of these efforts, said Al-Jarallah. The two sides will also discuss the tragic situation people in Yemen live under, and Iraq — amid the threat the so-called Islamic State group poses to everyday life and security.

Other matters include the difficult humanitarian situation in Syria due to its ongoing conflict, and the importance of reaching a comprehensive and just solution based on the twostate solution, UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative on Palestinian-Israeli affairs. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah arrived in the US Friday on an official visit, accompanied by an official delegation, and is expected to hold talks with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

The visit by His Highness the Amir and his meeting on Thursday with Trump highlight the shared desire to deepen cooperation to secure the Gulf region and beyond. The visit that falls in the framework of the multi-faceted strategic partnership aims to follow up the existing programs of cooperation and discuss regional and international issues of common concern.

It gains additional importance given the new challenges in the Gulf region and the two sides’ profound understanding of the crises in the Arab region. The State of Kuwait and the United States share the desire to stabilize the region through political means and realize the right priorities of restoring security and stability and combating terrorism.

The strategic partnership came to the fore following the US spearheading of the international coalition to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion (between Aug 2, 1990 and Feb 28, 1991). The coalition, put into motion by former US president George H.W. Bush on Aug 7, 1990, and the USled military campaign to liberate Kuwait on Feb 24-28, 1991, constituted a turning point in the Kuwaiti-US relationship. Since then the relations have been growing and both sides have showed keenness on promoting regional security and economic prosperity and combating terrorism and extremism. Kuwait is held in high esteem in the eyes of the US due to Kuwait’s growing role in addressing humanitarian disasters and economic problems worldwide as well as promotion of tolerance and coexistence among people with different cultures.

President Trump invited His Highness the Amir to visit the US in recognition of Kuwait’s status as a model democracy in the region, and the exemplary humanitarian role of His Highness the Amir. Recognizing the humanitarian leadership of His Highness the Amir, the former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon hosted a ceremony in New York, on Sept 9, 2014, to pay his “deepest tribute” to His Highness the Amir and thank him and the people of Kuwait for their “outstanding generosity towards” the victims of man-made and natural disasters around the globe. His Highness the Amir’s visit is historic both in the timing and the level of the accompanying delegation, said a Kuwaiti diplomat Tuesday. This visit also comes at a very delicate time due to the challenges and crises in the Arab region, Ambassador of Kuwait to Washington Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah told KUNA. He pointed that the visit comes upon an invitation from Trump last February shortly after his inauguration.

The ambassador added that His Highness the Amir is accompanied by a high-caliber official and business delegation. Moreover, The US Chamber of Commerce and the Kuwait’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry would hold a first-of-its-kind Kuwaiti-US economic forum in Washington on Friday in conjunction with His Highness the Amir’s visit, Sheikh Salem said. He disclosed that Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh would head the Kuwaiti side at the forum, which would bring together a plethora of Kuwaiti and American officials and businesspeople to discuss efforts to remove obstacles to joint investments as well as make use of the available investment opportunities. He pointed out that His Highness the Amir and Trump’s talks on Thursday would build on the outcome of their talks on the sidelines of the Gulf-American Summit in Riyadh last May. The talks would also be a continuation of the fruitful consultation between the two leaders and a reflection of the strength of friendship bonds linking the two nations, the ambassador said.

He clarified that the talks would tackle bilateral relations and regional and international developments of mutual concern. The cooperation in the fight against terror would be top on the summit’s agenda, he said, adding that Kuwait is a main partner to the US in the war on terror. The ambassador stated that second round of strategic Kuwaiti-US dialogue would be held in Washington on Friday. First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah would head Kuwait’s side in the event which is meant to push political, military, security, trade and culture cooperation to new high, he said. This historic visit signals the start of new chapter in bilateral relations as the leaders of the two countries are seeking to lay foundations for a more developed relations in the coming 25 years, he concluded.

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