Australia, Kuwait to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties

The significant milestone in the historical relations between the two countries will be marked in various ways, with a special focus on diplomatic activities, said H E Melissa Kelly, Australian ambassador to Kuwait

  • “We are committed to remaining the best partner for Kuwait in ensuring its food security,” said H E Melissa Kelly.

  • Although official diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Australia were established in 1974, cooperation between the two peoples has roots that extend further back in history

  • The significant influx of Kuwaiti investments in Australia, notably within the burgeoning green energy sector, amounts to approximately AUD 13 billion (KD 2.6 billion)

The Times Report

Ambassador Melissa Kelly, announced that this auspicious year commemorates the illustrious 50th anniversary of the enduring diplomatic ties between Australia and Kuwait.

She indicated that this significant milestone in the historical relations between the two countries will be marked in various ways, with a special focus on diplomatic activities.

Focal point

Ambassador Kelly highlighted the 50th anniversary of Australia-Kuwait diplomatic relations. She noted the historic 1992 visit of late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad to Australia as pivotal.

She conveyed optimism regarding anticipated visits by Kuwaiti ministers to Australia and a surge in visits by Australian ministers to Kuwait in the current year.

During a press conference at her residence to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Kuwait, Kelly emphasized using this occasion to reflect on the individuals and events shaping bilateral relations.

She stressed that although official diplomatic relations were established in 1974, cooperation between the two peoples has roots that extend further back in history.

Ambassador Kelly highlighted many important aspects of the Australian-Kuwaiti partnership, encompassing bilateral collaboration in key areas such as food security, investment, education, and beyond.

“50 Stories for 50 Years” campaign

She mentioned that the Australian embassy’s social media accounts will feature the “50 Stories for 50 Years” campaign in 2024, sharing a variety of stories that illustrate the depth of relations between the two nations.

Ambassador Kelly with journalists

Spotlighting the “50 Stories for 50 Years” campaign in 2024, it showcases a diverse array of narratives reflecting the enduring relations between the two nations. From pivotal moments like Australia’s role in Kuwait’s liberation to modern sustainability efforts, each story is a testament to the past and a guide for future partnerships.

Food security

In addition to celebrating the past and the individuals who contributed to it, Ambassador Kelly said that efforts will be made to plan for the next fifty years. This includes talks on enhancing partnership in food security, aligning educational collaboration with Kuwait’s economic vision, and ways for Australia and Kuwait to boost international system amidst current challenges.

Ambassador Kelly emphasized, “We are engaged in close consultations with Kuwait regarding the specifics of the phased cessation, reaffirming our steadfast commitment to being Kuwait’s foremost partner in safeguarding its food security.”

The Australian ambassador responded to journalists’ inquiries, expressing anticipation for increased high-level official visits between the two countries in the current year. While no specific dates have been set, she expressed hope for convening the joint committee between the two nations in the near future.
Security, military cooperation

Regarding security and military cooperation, Ambassador Kelly highlighted Australia’s longstanding military presence in the region since 1990. She noted Australia’s active role in the liberation of Kuwait and ongoing contributions to maritime security in the Red Sea. She emphasized the importance of de-escalation in the region.

Ambassador Kelly with The Times Kuwait Executive Managing Editor Reaven D’Souza

She noted the 800-strong Australian community in Kuwait, particularly prominent in the oil and gas sector, comprising skilled professionals across various fields.

Kelly highlighted the substantial Kuwaiti investments in Australia, particularly in the burgeoning field of green energy, totaling around AUD 13 billion (KD 2.6 billion). Expressing optimism, she anticipated additional investments that harmonize with the capabilities and shared interests of both friendly countries.

Ambassador Kelly further clarified Australia’s phased cessation of live sheep exports by sea, stating it won’t begin before mid-2025. An independent committee will advise the government on the process, with ongoing talks with Kuwait to safeguard its food security.

The crisis in Gaza

Regarding Australia’s stance on the Gaza situation, ambassador stressed Australia’s call for a political solution to the Gaza crisis, expressing deep concern about the humanitarian situation and civilian casualties. She reiterated Australia’s support for a two-state solution and strong backing for Palestinian statehood aspirations.

She said, Australia consistently advocates for safe, continuous, and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid and supported an immediate humanitarian ceasefire at the United Nations, viewing it as a crucial step towards achieving a sustainable peace.

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