Kuwait’s first non-royal Foreign Minister faces challenges amid regional tensions

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya is the first foreign minister in the Kuwait government from outside the ruling family, which represents a challenge for him, given the tasks that this mission requires of him in light of the conditions the region is witnessing at both the regional and international levels. There is no doubt that he will certainly live up to the responsibility, given that the trust of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah is granted only to those who deserve it.

The most prominent files facing Minister Al-Yahya is the Iraqi court’s ruling regarding the unconstitutionality of the maritime navigation agreement with Kuwait, in addition to the file of the Durra field, which is shared with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In both files, Kuwait affirmed its sovereignty and its unwillingness to accept any violation in that regard. In the first file, Kuwait confirmed the validity of the agreement signed with the Iraqi side, stating that it is subject to international conventions and treaties. During the last period, Kuwait witnessed the mobilization of several efforts to support it in this file at the Gulf, Arab, and even international levels, indicating a lack of acceptance of the conversation or lack of recognition of this file. In the Durra field file, Kuwait also confirmed with Saudi Arabia that the Durra field is a Kuwaiti-Saudi field and ownership of the natural resources in this field is shared between them only. It called on Iran to negotiate the eastern border of the submerged area divided between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as one negotiating party with the Iranian side.

Kuwait is also seeking to open new horizons with several Asian countries to work on many projects and agreements, especially those witnessed during the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad to China during which several bilateral agreements were signed. The region is witnessing instability that requires vigilance and caution over the accelerating events being witnessed, especially the war in Gaza, the Kuwaiti role in this file, and the lack of all efforts for the Palestinian issue either at the humanitarian level or at the level of supporting the issue in international forums, and the speed of making decisions, especially on important issues.

Minister Al-Yahya said Wednesday that he would work hard on enhancing Kuwait’s leading role on both regional and international levels. This came in a statement made by the newly appointed minister after the constitutional oath of the new cabinet led by His Highness the Prime Minister Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah before His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah earlier in the day. “We will complete the mission of former foreign ministers, and follow the same diplomatic approach of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,” Al-Yahya said.

He noted that there are several dossiers on which “we will focus”, including the regional and Gulf issues, and maintaining the Arabian Gulf, he noted. He expressed hope for a continued consensus between the two authorities to achieve desired goals and achieve people’s interests, upon the directives of His Highness the Amir. The minister referred to continued efforts to allow Kuwaitis entry into Schengen states without visas.

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