FeaturedKuwait News

Kuwait’s top priority: Ending Gaza war and well-being of Palestinians

Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Yahya expressed optimism about potential breakthroughs, noting that there are signs of progress with potential agreements and anticipating further developments in the coming weeks.

• Kuwaitis refer to Diwaniyah gatherings as mini-parliaments, where all issues concerning citizens and the region are discussed

• After Ramadan, Kuwait plans to exempt its citizens from Schengen or adopt British-style long-term visas

• Kuwait progresses on Canada visa procedures, nears completion. Ministry of Interior to finalize before summer. The country fill ambassador vacancies soon with approved plan and standards

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Al-Yahya expressed happiness at the uplifting ambiance during the holy month of Ramadan. He also disclosed the presence of various avenues to address the matter of exempting citizens from the European Schengen visa, which include options such as complete cancellation or long-term solutions. Al-Yahya’s statements came during a reception in his office in the Mansouriya area two days ago, where he received well-wishers for the month of Ramadan from the heads of diplomatic missions and regional and international organizations accredited to Kuwait.

The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sheikh Jarrah Al-Jaber, as well as the minister’s assistants and senior ministry officials. Additionally, on Tuesday, Al-Yahya also received well-wishers from government officials, public figures, and citizens.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs conveyed the greetings of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad, and His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Al-Sabah, to the well-wishers.

He expressed their pride in the deep ties that unite Kuwait with all brotherly and friendly countries, regional and international organizations. They also extended their wishes for blessings, goodness, and prosperity to return to the Arab and Islamic nations, as well as to the entire world, on this blessed occasion.

New era

Al-Yahya expressed his happiness at the presence of a large number of Kuwaiti, Arab, and foreign diplomats, led by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. He expressed his hope that these meetings would continue during Ramadan or on other occasions, adding that Kuwaitis refer to Diwaniyah gatherings as mini-parliaments, where all issues concerning citizens and the region are discussed.

He explained that the atmosphere this year is different, especially since the current government is new, marking the beginning of His Highness the Amir of the country, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad’s era, along with the upcoming parliamentary elections. He also pointed out that the current month of Ramadan is particularly busy and eventful.

Focusing on Gaza issue

Referring to Kuwaiti and Arab efforts to halt Zionist aggression in Gaza, he stated, “Our actions began over two months ago with the formation of this government. We have participated in approximately four or five conferences, primarily focusing on the Gaza issue and emphasizing our concern for the Palestinian people. This matter holds great importance and is a top priority for our political leadership.”

“Our efforts have centered on reinstating donations and aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many major donor countries that had previously suspended their funding have now reversed their decisions and committed to resuming their contributions in the upcoming allocations. The first countries to take this step were Canada and Germany. Sweden also reversed its decision at the start of Ramadan, and we hope that other nations will follow suit and renew their support for the agency,” he added.

Al-Yahya emphasized the importance and priority of ending the war. It appears that there are breakthroughs, as we hear about potential agreements being reached, and we anticipate further breakthroughs in the coming weeks.

European-Arab pressures

Regarding US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to the region, Al-Yahya said, “There is significant European and Arab pressure at the highest level. I confirm that there will be a breakthrough soon, at least based on the steps we are witnessing today in the region, including from the Gulf, Arab, Islamic, and even European sides. The situation cannot tolerate the ongoing massacres in Palestine any longer. The Americans have their own considerations, especially with the approaching presidential elections. These circumstances will be beneficial for the Palestinian people in the near future.”

Schengen visa exemption

In response to a question about the European parliamentary elections scheduled for next June and Kuwait’s actions regarding the Schengen visa, Al-Yahya said, “We have received numerous invitations to participate in several conferences, and we will make movements after the end of the month of Ramadan concerning the issue of exempting Kuwaitis from Schengen. There are multiple pathways to address this, either through exemption or adopting a strategy similar to what our British counterparts have done, such as granting Kuwaitis a long-term visa for five years through online applications.”

Regarding Canada, he said, “We are nearing completion of facilitating electronic visa procedures with them. The remaining steps involve meeting a few minor conditions that they have requested, which have already been forwarded to the relevant authorities. The matter is close to finalization and is currently with the Ministry of Interior. I believe we will conclude this process before this summer.

Concerning the visit of the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jassem Al-Budaiwi, to Brussels, he clarified, “Al-Budaiwi is the representative of the entire Gulf coalition, and there is extensive coordination among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. We will assess what serves the best interests of our nations’ peoples.”

Vacancies for ambassadors

Regarding some vacancies in the positions of Kuwaiti ambassadors in certain countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, “We have a plan that will be finalized, and we are currently establishing standards in line with the decisions of the Council of Ministers, both within and outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have fulfilled all these requirements, and they have been formally submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. In the near future, they will be implemented.”

Ambassadors, diplomats divided into six groups

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Tajikistan Zubaydullah Zubaidov, praised the professionalism and organizational skills exhibited by the protocols and procedures in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He described the occasion as excellent and smooth, noting that the ambassadors and diplomats were divided into six groups, with each group allocated a specified time in advance.

Kuwait hosts 110 ambassadors, 25 organizations in diplomatic groupings

Zabidov explained, “The groups of diplomats were divided as follows: Arab, European, African, American, Asian, and organizations,” noting that there were 110 ambassadors and diplomats from embassies, along with approximately 25 regional and international organizations accredited in the country.

Visiting Diwaniyahs daily

Zabidov explained, “The Foreign Minister’s initiative was positive, and the ambassadors were pleased with the Diwaniyah,” noting that “The Diwaniyah in Kuwait functions like a mini-parliament, where all matters are deliberated, and any ambassador can attend without an appointment. We are delighted with this holy month; personally, I visit 12 Diwaniyahs daily, while some ambassadors attend even more.”

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