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Kuwait – US talks reaffirm strategic ties
September 9, 2017, 4:23 pm

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on an official visit to the United States held talks with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday 7 September.

The two leaders discussed political, economic, military and security relationship between both countries. Following the discussions, His Highness stated that his discussions with the president were "in-depth and comprehensive" and covered the Gulf feud, the war on terror, the situations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Myanmar and Palestinian affairs.

The meeting "reflected the depth of our historic and developed bilateral relations," in the benefit of the two countries, said His Highness, as he hailed US commitment to the security of Kuwait.

On the war on terror and its funding, he said talks focused on Kuwait's "joint efforts" with the US and the international community as he hailed US efforts and "victories" on the matter.

"We underlined the need to put an end to the fighting through dialogue between the warring parties" in Syria, Yemen and Libya, he said, adding that the talks also focused on the situation in Iraq.

These continuing conflicts represent a "direct threat" to the affected nations, he said, as he urged the need for the Security Council to bear its responsibility in ensuring global peace and security.

Kuwait also underlined the need for effective international action to put an end to the suffering of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar, he added.

On Palestinian affairs, he hailed US efforts to relaunch the Middle East peace process and underlined the need to further efforts aimed at a comprehensive resolution based on the two-state solution, international law and the Arab Peace Initiative.

On the sidelines of the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the United States, the second round of strategic dialogue between Kuwait and the United States was held on Friday. The talks were headed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah and his US counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.

During the talks the two sides renewed their commitments to promoting stability and security in Kuwait and the broader Middle East. The meeting also discussed specific areas of cooperation and charted a roadmap for bilateral relations going into the future.

The second strategic dialogue aimed to build on the first round of talks that were held last October in Washington DC, and to further strengthen relations and open new horizons in the partnership between Kuwait and the United States.

Following the discussions, a statement from the US State Department said that top officials from both countries had renewed partnership agreements on defense, security, trade, investment, education, consular, customs, and border protection issues. In particular, both sides recommitted to promoting stability and security in the Gulf region and the broader Middle East, including targeting ISIS and other violent extremists.

The US and Kuwait agreed to work closely on defense cooperation in the meeting. In a separate meeting on the sidelines of the Amiri visit, Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammed Khaled Al-Sabah met with US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at the Pentagon on Thursday.

In remarks during the meeting, Mr. Mattis lauded the meaningful history of security cooperation and understanding between the two countries and said that since "the intervention to oust Saddam Hussein's army from your sovereign territory in 1991, our countries have maintained a highly productive military relationship."

For his part, Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that the relations between the two countries are "solid and strong" and that the relations are now more stronger and deeper especially after the meeting between US President Donald Trump and His Highness the Amir.

An agreement was also reached to enhance the defensive capabilities of Armed Forces of Kuwait. The US agreed to help expedite the acquisition of US military equipment, including that sale of its F/A-18 Super Hornet, a supersonic combat jet, to Kuwait's Air Force. .

During the visit, the US Chamber of Commerce hosted a US-Kuwait Economic Forum and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Commerce's Select USA and the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), aimed at strengthening commerce and trade.

Director General of KDIPA Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said that the signing of the Cooperation Arrangement on the Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment with SelectUSA reflects the importance of the relationship the two countries enjoy.

He added that the MoU signed between the two entities "will help us expand the increase of investment between our two countries. It will help to attract more American companies to work in Kuwait and more Kuwaiti companies to work in the US in order to increase our bilateral trade."

In addition, the US Department of State and the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education signed a memorandum of understanding that will encourage student exchanges and educational cooperation across institutions of higher learning and research centers. More than 15,000 Kuwaitis are currently studying or preparing to study in the United States.

Following the signing of the MoU, Kuwait's Higher Education Undersecretary Dr. Hamed Alazemi said that the main purpose of the MOU "is to have a clear map of what we are doing for the next 20 years." He affirmed "we have succeeded in expanding the research cooperation and the students' academic achievements in general. Hopefully this will be a starting point and have positive effect on our education system."

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Kuwait His Excellency Lawrence Silverman said "this is actually a great day in US-Kuwaiti relations. We had a great visit by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and meeting with the president yesterday, which really showed the depth of the bilateral relationship and the importance we attach to it here in the United States to Kuwait's efforts also diplomatically around the region and in the humanitarian way."



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