KUWAIT CITY, Nov 23, (KUNA): The UK Kuwait Joint Steering Group (JSG) concluded its 16th session remotely on Monday after talks held between on July 31 and Sept 1. The final meeting, co-chaired by Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah and UK Minister for Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly, reviewed aspects of bilateral cooperation in various fields.
The two sides affirmed their commitment to documenting and strengthening joint action in a way that serves the interests of the two countries and reflects distinctive historical bilateral relations spanning more than 121 years. Holding the talks, under the current health conditions, is a matter that reflects their joint commitment to the continuity of cooperation and their keenness to strengthen bilateral relations, pushing them to broader and wider horizons to meet the aspirations of the two countries and their peoples.
They agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral relations in the political, military, economic, commercial, investment, cultural, scientific, security and healthcare and cybersecurity spectrums. Also, to work to activate all agreements and memoranda of understanding they had signed, to discuss obstacles to these agreements, if any, and to work to overcome them. The two parties also agreed to complete cooperation mechanisms, originating from the talks, to strengthen economic and commercial relations and partnerships by encouraging investment in vital and promising sectors in both countries and to discuss commercial opportunities in both countries.
The British side, for its part, confirmed the continuation of cooperation with Kuwait after its exit from the European Union. The two sides also expressed their satisfaction with the current volume of trade, which amounts to GBP 3.4 billion, as well as their shared aspiration to exchange experiences, with regard to small and medium enterprises, amid their role in supporting national economies. Both said they look forward to the British side’s contribution to developing institutional capabilities as well as contributing to organising relevant workshops and organising virtual workshops, in coordination with several relevant institutions and bodies in Kuwait, under their economic and investment fields of mutual interest. They also discussed frameworks for enhancing joint cooperation in the development field in impoverished countries.
The two sides also expressed their satisfaction with the magnitude of existing military cooperation and ongoing discussions between their experts, regarding several proposed defence cooperation projects, which aim to offer support and assistance to the Kuwaiti military amid its endeavors to enhance its capabilities and readiness, whether in regards to armament or military education and training. On the security level, the two sides praised the fruitful cooperation on fields such as immigration and aviation security. The Kuwaiti side, in particular, commended the support provided by the UK in the field of aviation security.
Draft agreements and memoranda of understanding between the two sides were also discussed, as the two sides expressed their satisfaction with the level of ongoing coordination and mutual cooperation between their relevant authorities in the field of cybersecurity and their work to activate these agreements, which aim to strengthen Kuwait’s efforts in facing the growing challenges in the field.
On cooperation in the healthcare field, they welcomed ongoing talks, which see Kuwait benefit from Britain’s advanced healthcare expertise, particularly in relation to hospital management and the training of Kuwaiti medical personnel. The two sides stressed the need to strengthen collective efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic, while the Kuwaiti side expressed its hope to benefit from Britain’s efforts made to produce a vaccine.
They also discussed shedding light on means to enhance cultural and scientific bilateral cooperation, commending the current growth of these aspects amid the dispatch of Kuwaitis to pursue academic studies under various disciplines in the UK and efforts to identify and overcome the difficulties these students face, created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They discussed the scope of cooperation in the fields of scientific research, cultural cooperation, the digital library initiative and the partnership between the Kuwait National Library and the British Council.