‘Kuwaiti Amir one of most wise, leading Arab rulers’ – Kiev seeks major boost in ties

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meets First Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

KUWAIT CITY, March 19, (KUNA): Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is “one of most wisest and influential leaders in Arab world,” and hoped multifaceted relations and cooperation between Kiev and Kuwait reach new heights.  Poroshenko, who asserted His Highness the Amir “has a vast experience in international politics,” also said Ukraine was a promising market for investment from the Gulf in general and Kuwait in particular.

The Ukrainian President arrived in Kuwait yesterday and held official talks with His Highness the Amir. During the visit, the two countries signed cooperation agreements. Poroshenko, in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), said he discussed with His Highness the Amir ways of cementing trade, economic, military, technical and humanitarian cooperation.

They also discussed Kuwaiti investments in Ukraine, he said. “I am very happy to be in Kuwait and it was a good opportunity to talk to His Highness the Amir … One of the most wisest and infl uential leaders in the Arab world,” he said.

His Highness the Amir, added Poroshenko, “has a vast experience in international politics and is the humanitarian leader as per UN recognition. It is natural that the leader of Kuwait, which was the victim of the foreign (Iraq) aggression, is one of leaders to help victims of wars and military confl icts.”

Poroshenko is the first Ukrainian president to visit Kuwait in 15 years. Kuwait and Kiev established relations 25 years ago. Poroshenko appreciated His Highness the Amir’s role in settlement of regional crises. “Ukraine is very interested in supporting regional stability, and the security in the Gulf countries and the Middle East,” he added.

He called on importance of “rapid settlement” of Gulf crisis within framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). On a bilateral level, Poroshenko said Kiev government was ready to implement joint agricultural projects in Ukraine and then export products to Kuwait and other Gulf countries. He also called on Kuwaiti business people to invest in commercial or private real estate sectors. “We also see many chances to develop military and technical cooperation with Kuwait. Ukraine … has great experience in manufacturing of armored vehicles, military aircraft, transport planes and naval vessels,” he said. He meanwhile said Ukrainian doctors were treating Kuwaiti children with brain paralysis.

“I am confident if we combine Kuwait’s financial resources with expertise of our doctors, we will be able to cure many more patients.” Poroshenko also said Kuwait and Ukraine were bound to a 2003 agreement to encourage and protect mutual investment. “We believe this agreement is a solid foundation to develop constructive investment cooperation.” Ukraine, he said, was working at different levels.

The European country was carrying out full-fl edged judicial reforms which would create equality, justice and transparency for all investors. The country had recently established an anti-corruption system including a corruption court. “Fighting corruption is a major priority in my policy,” asserted Poroshenko. “Ukraine has now genuine opportunities for foreign investment,” he said, citing a wide-scale privatization program, and “I hope we will soon see Kuwaiti companies and investment in Ukraine.” Poroshenko noted the two countries, which have $30 million in trade exchange, could capitalize on Ukraine’s potentials in agriculture, machinery, construction, chemicals, sport, education and food, in addition to oil refining and transportation.

“It is crucial we continue our cooperation to highlight exports capabilities and investment opportunities in Ukraine,” he said. The Ukrainian president welcomed Kuwaiti tourists who could get an entry visa at airport following their arrival. He also hoped direct flights would be launched between the two countries.

Poroshenko called on government of Kuwait to recognize universities in Ukraine, five of them were classified as among the best worldwide. “We hope the Kuwaiti side reconsider its decision regarding the Ukrainian universities, and we are ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Higher Education in Kuwait to recognize the universities,” he said.

Poroshenko thanked Kuwait for granting scholarships for Ukrainian students to study Arabic Language in Kuwait University. “I am positive the Ukranians who speak the Arabic language will contribute to boosting relations between our countries,” he added.

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