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US, Kuwait talk strategy on Ukraine, Iran

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WASHINGTON, Jan 26, (Agencies): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the situation in Ukraine as well as Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al- Mohammed Al-Sabah during the latter’s visit to Washington on Wednesday, the nationalnews. com reports. “We talked about the ongoing security challenge posed by Russia’s provocations and threatened aggression towards Ukraine,” Mr Blinken told reporters alongside Sheikh Ahmed after their meeting. “We agree that this crisis is much bigger than just Ukraine or even Europe. It’s a serious concern to the entire international community that requires an international response.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah speaks during a news conference at the State Department, Wednesday, Jan. 26, in Washington. (AP)

The US has long sought to persuade its European allies to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas, an objective that has come into sharp focus as Russia raises the spectre of invasion by massing more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. Mr Blinken said Kuwait understands that the Ukraine crisis requires an international response “better than anyone”, in reference to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the country three decades ago. He also noted that “the United States appreciates Kuwait’s support for a mutual return to compliance” with the Iran nuclear deal, as Washington seeks to revive the ailing accord via indirect talks with Tehran in Vienna. “We’re very grateful for close co-ordination through venues like the [Gulf Co-operation Council] Iran working group, where we have stood together against Iran’s destabilising actions in the region,” said Mr Blinken.

He also thanked Sheikh Ahmed for Kuwait’s “commitment to addressing the needs of the Palestinian people, including through financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority”. The meeting also served as the conclusion of the fifth USKuwaiti Strategic Dialogue. “We value the US’ continuous commitment to the security of Kuwait and the stability of the region,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “And it really exhibits a true friendship that is an ironclad alliance, which was forged by blood and treasure at a very critical point in history.” The top diplomats last met when Sheikh Ahmed hosted Mr Blinken in Kuwait in the middle of last year. Addressing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad said, “My visit (to the US) comes after your visit to Kuwait at the end of last June and only a couple of days prior to the memory of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.”

“It showcases the strength of our relationship and the commitment that United States have shown again and again to the security and stability of Kuwait and in the region,” he said. On the Kuwaiti-US partnership, he said, “We are solid partners, great friends, and we are so appreciative of this historically strong partnership and we are greatly appreciative of your effort in maintaining peace and security in the region.” “We have been partners throughout the three decades since the liberation of Kuwait and lots of hardships,” he stated. “We are partners in combating terrorism after 9/11. We were partners as well with the liberation of Kuwait. “And lastly, last year, with the safe transitory corridors for all of Afghans in need, US citizens and residents and to have a safe passage through Kuwait, along with the biggest operation of its kind and we are proud to be part of that,” Sheikh Dr. Ahmad pointed out. Regarding the security cooperation, he said, “We value the US continuous commitment to the security of Kuwait and the stability of the region.” “And it really exhibits a true friendship. That is ironclad alliance, which was forged first by blood and treasured at a very critical point in history,” he stressed.

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