Kuwait and France Share Mutual Desire for Closer Relations

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PARIS, July 2: Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said his country agreed with France to promote cooperation in all areas and open new horizons for the bilateral ties. In statements to KUNA and Kuwait TV on Wednesday at the end of his visit France, Sheikh Salem expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the visit. He noted that he discussed with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna yesterday the prospects of the relationship, including the possibility of facilitating the issuance of Schengen visas for Kuwaiti nationals. The French top diplomat showed understanding of Kuwait’s demand for renewable Schengen visas for several years, he said, noting that there is a progress in this issue. During his stay in Paris, Sheikh Salem signed a number of agreements, including a MoU on launching a strategic dialogue between Kuwait and France. “Such dialogue will provide an institutionalized framework for the bilateral ties and allow expansion of cooperation in various sectors,” he pointed out.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the French Development Agency (AFD) have also signed MoU to promote cooperation in area of economic development, he went on. Earlier today, Sheikh Salem met with Olivier Becht, French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad to discuss cooperation in the investment and economic sectors Later on he discussed with the President of Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) Francois Touazi and other representatives of French major companies to discuss the economic, investment and trade relations.

On Monday, Sheikh Salem arrived in France, the first leg of his European trip that will take him to Italy, Austria and Hungary. Kuwaiti minister of foreign affairs held talks Tuesday with French counterpart and French president’s adviser on buttressing bilateral ties and coordination on regional and international issues of common interest. At the beginning of his meeting with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, the Kuwaiti top diplomat Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah conveyed the greetings of Kuwait’s political leadership to the French Republic and their wishes for further growth, progress and prosperity for France and its people. Sheikh Salem expressed his deep pride in the close relations between the two friendly countries and the high level they have achieved in all fields. He also praised the steady progress of mutual cooperation at all levels, especially in the humanitarian and development fields.

The talks tackled all aspects of the close historical ties that bind the two friendly countries, as well as the framework for strengthening and developing these ties at various levels to take bilateral cooperation to new horizons in the interests of the two friendly countries and their peoples. The issue of exempting Kuwaiti nationals from Schengen visa requirements was high on the agenda of today’s talks, as were joint efforts to mobilize European support for the Kuwaiti demand and the future steps in this regard. For her part, French Foreign Minister Colonna expressed her country’s support for the exemption of Kuwaiti citizens from Schengen visa requirements and stressed the positive impact of this step on common interests at various levels. On the other hand, Minister Colonna hailed the high level of cooperation between Kuwait and France at all levels and their ambition to continue the pattern of this strong cooperation and extend it to broader and more comprehensive horizons. She admired Kuwait’s wisdom and the balance of its foreign policy, as well as its efforts to consolidate the pillars of security and peace in the region and its principled and consistent stance in international forums.

She lauded Kuwait’s humanitarian projects and its support for development around the world. The talks also focused on intensifying joint coordination on many regional and international issues and joint efforts to promote international peace and security. Sheikh Salem expressed appreciation for the French Republic’s historic commitment to safeguarding the security of the State of Kuwait and its efforts to establish stability and peace in the region. The two ministers discussed recent developments at the regional and international levels and exchanged views on a number of crucial and important issues in the region.

They also discussed the framework for enhanced joint coordination, in particular developments in the Syrian crisis and international efforts to find a political solution that ends the suffering of the Syrian people, as well as developments in Iraq and Yemen. The crisis in Ukraine and its implications at the regional and international levels were also a topic of discussion. In addition, ways to improve joint cooperation in dealing with the consequences of the crisis were discussed, as well as other regional and international issues of common interest.

The two ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to promoting stability and security in the region, preserving international order, spreading the values and principles of international law and maintaining international peace and security. The bilateral talks culminated in the signing of a series of memoranda of understanding between the two friendly countries, including a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a joint strategic dialogue between the governments of Kuwait and France and a memorandum of understanding between the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the French Development Agency for cooperation in the development field.

They also signed the joint statement of the first session of the strategic dialogue between the State of Kuwait and the French Republic, reflecting the determination of the two friendly countries to develop and consolidate bilateral relations in all fields and at various levels. Later, Sheikh Salem met with Adviser of the French President on North Africa and the Middle East Patrick Dorrell. During the meeting, the minister conveyed the greetings of Kuwait’s political leadership to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and their wishes to friendly France for further progress and prosperity. For his part, Dorrell conveyed Macron’s greetings to the State of Kuwait and its wise leadership, stressing that close relations with Kuwait and its leadership are a priority for the French leadership. He also invited Kuwait’s political leadership to visit France to strengthen historical ties between the two friendly countries. They discussed how to improve and expand the existing cooperation between Kuwait and France. (KUNA)

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