Kuwait PM expresses sorrow – Amiri envoy arrives in US for Bush funeral

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 4, (Agencies): His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Hamad Al-Sabah expressed deep sorrow and sympathy over the demise of 41st US President George Bush, a statement after a Cabinet session said Monday.

In the statement, His Highness Sheikh Jaber recalled Bush’s principled and historic stands, including his swift rejection to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990, noting on the decisive and critical decisions taken by the US administration under Bush leadership, in addition to his role in forming an international coalition and through a UN mandate to liberate Kuwait.

Sheikh Jaber expressed his utmost sorrow and condolences to the American people on Bush’s demise, on behalf of Kuwait and its people. Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence R. Silverman said late Monday that he was grateful for the outpour of condolences and sincere sentiments towards the late 41st President of the US George H.W. Bush.

Speaking to KUNA, Ambassador Silverman said that George Bush senior would have been very proud to witness closely the level of Kuwaiti- US ties, which increased rapidly after the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraq invasion in 1991.

The late president was proud of leading the way to the liberation of Kuwait and also was keen on bringing peace to the region, said Ambassador Silverman.

The ambassador stressed that both countries were looking into more venues to expand and enhance relations whether strategically, economically, and commercially. Elsewhere, representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah arrived in Washington on Monday to attend the funeral of the late US President George H. W. Bush. Receiving him upon arrival was Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Abdallah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and embassy staff.

The nation’s capital embraced George H.W. Bush in death with solemn ceremony and high tributes to his service and decency, as the remains of the 41st president took their place in the Capitol Rotunda for three days of mourning and praise by the political elite and everyday citizens alike.

Members of the public lined up before sunrise to pay their respects as an honor guard stood watch beside Bush’s casket in the cavernous Rotunda, open until Wednesday’s funeral. With Bush’s casket atop the Lincoln Catafalque, first used for Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 funeral, dignitaries came forward Monday to honor the Texan whose efforts for his country extended three quarters of a century from World War II through his final years as an advocate for volunteerism and relief for people displaced by natural disaster. President from 1989 to 1993, Bush died Friday at age 94.

In an invocation opening Monday evening’s ceremony, the US House chaplain, the Rev Patrick J Conroy, praised Bush’s commitment to public service, from Navy pilot to congressman, UN ambassador, envoy to China and then CIA director before being elected vice-president and then president. “Here lies a great man,” said Rep Paul Ryan, the House Speaker, and “a gentle soul … His legacy is grace perfected.” Vice-President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leader Mitch Mc- Connell also spoke. President Donald Trump did not attend, but he and First Lady Melania Trump came to the Capitol later Monday to pay tribute.

They stood in front of the casket with their eyes closed for a few moments, before Trump saluted the casket. Political combatants set aside their fights to honor a Republican who led in a less toxic era and at times found commonality with Democrats despite sharp policy disagreements. Democratic Rep Nancy Pelosi, a past House speaker nominated for the post in the new Congress, exchanged a warm hug with George W. Bush and came away dabbing her face.

Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, placed wreaths in the short ceremony before the rotunda was opened to the public. Sent off from Texas with a 21-gun salute, Bush’s casket was carried to Joint Base Andrews outside the capital city aboard an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One and designated “Special Air Mission 41” in honor of Bush’s place on the chronological list of presidents. His eldest son, former President George W. Bush, and others from the family traveled on the flight from Houston. Cannon fire roared again outside the Capitol as the sun sank and the younger President Bush stood with his hand over his heart, watching the casket’s procession up the steps. Bush was remembered just feet away from what he called “Democracy’s front porch,” the west-facing steps of the Capitol where he was sworn in as president.

He will lie in state in the Capitol for public visitation through Wednesday. An invitation-only funeral service, which the Trumps will attend, is set for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral. Although Bush’s funeral services are suffused with the flourishes accorded presidents, by his choice they will not include a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington.

Eulogies will be offered by former President George W. Bush, former Sen Alan Simpson of Wyoming, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and historian Jon Meacham, Bush family spokesmen said.

On Sunday, students, staff and visitors had flocked to Bush’s presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University, with thousands of mourners paying their respects at a weekend candlelight vigil at a nearby pond and others contributing to growing flower memorials at Bush statues at both the library and a park in downtown Houston.

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