‘End differences, unite against terror’ – Trump hails Kuwait mediation

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US President Donald Trump meets with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the Oval Office of the White House, on Sept 7, in Washington. (AP)

WASHINGTON, Sept 7, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, accompanied by National Guard Deputy Chief Sheikh Mishal Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, met US President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday.

Their talks at the Oval Office dealt with the long-standing historical relations between the two countries and the two friendly peoples, and means to develop ties and strengthen cooperation in all fields.

They also discussed issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international spectrums, particularly the Gulf and the Middle East. Both senior officials exchanged views on these topics and stressed the need for the countries involved in the Gulf feud to discard their differences, unite and support international efforts to combat terrorism.

His Highness the Amir said his talks with Trump reflected the political, economic, military and security relationship between both countries. In a speech at the White House, he said discussions with the president were “in-depth and comprehensive” and covered the Gulf feud, the war on terror, the situations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Myanmar and Palestinian affairs.

The meeting “reflected the depth of our historic and developed bilateral relations,” in the benefit of the two countries, said His Highness, as he hailed US commitment to the security of Kuwait.

His Highness said he appreciated the US role in leading an international coalition of allied forces to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991. He discussed Kuwait’s efforts to resolve the “unfortunate” dispute between Qatar and four Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. On the war on terror and its funding, he said talks focused on Kuwait’s “joint efforts” with the US and the international community as he hailed US efforts and “victories” on the matter. “We underlined the need to put an end to the fighting through dialogue between the warring parties” in Syria, Yemen and Libya, he said, adding that the talks also focused on the situation in Iraq.

Continuing conflicts
These continuing conflicts represent a “direct threat” to the affected nations, he said, as he urged the need for the Security Council to bear its responsibility in ensuring global peace and security.

Kuwait also underlined the need for effective international action to put an end to the suffering of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar, he added.

On Palestinian affairs, he hailed US efforts to relaunch the Middle East peace process and underlined the need to further efforts aimed at a comprehensive resolution based on the two-state solution, international law and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Trump, meanwhile, hailed efforts by the leader of Kuwait, a staunch American ally, to mediate a festering diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and its Arab neighbors that could have implications for the US military presence in the region.

At a White House news conference with HH Sheikh Sabah, Trump said he appreciated the Amir’s thus-far unsuccessful bid to end the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. He applauded Kuwait’s “critical contributions to regional stability” but also repeated an offer to mediate himself, particularly between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

He suggested that a deal would be “worked out very quickly” if he became personally involved.

Essential partners
Trump said all the countries involved — members of the Gulf Cooperation Council — are “essential partners” with the United States in efforts to crack down on extremism, including the fight against Islamic State group. “We will be most successful with a united GCC,” he said. “We will send a strong message to both terrorist organizations and regional aggressors that they cannot win.” His comments came after he sent conflicting signals about where he stands on the dispute.

Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia, but then instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Kuwaiti mediation effort. Still, the dispute has dragged on for more than three months even after Tillerson shuttled between the parties in July and dispatched two other US envoys to bolster the 88-year-old Kuwaiti Amir’s initiative.

In his comments, Trump offered a pointed reminder that terrorism financing is at the heart of the crisis. At one point he said that the dispute “began because of that fact that there has been massive funding of terrorism by certain countries.” He did not identify those countries but in June he had made reference to Saudi and other Arab complaints about Qatar. For his part, the Amir said he remained hopeful that a resolution to the crisis could be reached. He noted that Qatar had been presented with a list of 13 demands by the other countries and was willing to discuss them. Although Qatar has rejected some of them out of hand, Sheikh Sabah said he believed negotiations were possible. “I am optimistic that the solution will come in the very near future,” he said. “The hope has not ended yet.”’

Sides sign MoUs
On the sidelines of the US-Kuwait Economic Forum held at the US Chamber of Commerce, several agreements were signed Wednesday between the Kuwait and American sides in different fields. The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and DOW Chemical Company (DOW) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed by Jamed Fitterling representing the Dow Chemical Company and Deputy Chairman and CEO of KPC Nizar Al- Adsani for the joint cooperation in the petrochemical industry and joint investment in the US. Al-Adsani told KUNA in this regard that the MoU aims at further enhancing the relevant entities and build on the current investment in petrochemicals in the US, in addition to explore the establishment of petrochemical research and technology centers in Kuwait and the US.

Also the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water signed agreements with General Electric on generating power to upgrade and increase the capability of the power stations in Kuwait, in addition to reducing the gas emissions and develop and train the Kuwaiti national qualifications. For his part, Director General of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah emphasized the importance of the Forum, told KUNA and KTV that the Forum is an opportunity to showcase the positive and historical relationship between Kuwait and the US.

He added that the event is also a chance to showcase the latest development in economic situation in the two countries and how can the private sectors in both countries benefit from those changes on the ground. He reiterated the very historical and strategic relationship between the two countries in the past decades. The Forum is held during the official visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s official visit to the nation’s capital during which he is scheduled to meet at the White House on Thursday US President Donald Trump.

US investors eyed
Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Member Osama Al- Nisf said that a trade delegation accompanying His Highness the Amir during his US visit is keen to showcase opportunities open to US investors in Kuwait. The delegation will take the opportunity to promote joint ventures between the two friendly countries as Kuwait seeks to implement its recently- sanctioned strategic development plans, he told both KUNA and KTV. On the visit, he said that talks of this magnitude, which bring together two leading global figures — His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and US President Donald Trump — would give strong impetus to investment, trade and industrial relations. US participation in the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation is another factor in this “exceptional and historic” relationship, Al-Nisf added.

For his part, Kuwait Industries Union Deputy Chairman Ahmad Al- Gudhaibi said that the visit would provide the chance to consolidate economic and industrial relations and to transfer exceptional US technology know-how to the Kuwaiti market. KIU looks forward to forming strategic US partnerships that contribute more significantly to the Kuwaiti economy, thus contributing to its GDP, amid the country’s development plans, he said. Al-Gudhaibi also said he hoped to see a large turnout of US businesses at the US-Kuwait Economic Forum, scheduled the following day. A number of Kuwaiti business personnel and top officials affirmed late Wednesday the importance of the USKuwait Economic Forum, stressing that the event will be highly beneficial for both countries.

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