A Diplomat’s Diplomat

Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait Ambassador Khaled Suleiman Al-Jarallah, a career diplomat long associated with furthering the country’s foreign policies, tendered his resignation on 28 January.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry on 1 February confirmed that the Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah had accepted the resignation of his deputy, and had assigned Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghanem as a temporary replacement to the position. 

Clearing up ambiguity in some quarters on the reason for his resignation, Al-Jarallah said in a statement: “The resignation is in line with Supreme Decree No. 2021-3, which stipulates the termination of the duties of those with the rank of minister and those who have spent a period of 4 years or more on 31 January 2021. Accordingly, I submitted my resignation to the political leadership.”

Khaled Al-Jarallah, the 74-year old veteran diplomat, was often seen as the country’s main diplomatic trouble-shooter, successfully negotiating many seemingly intractable challenges. Al-Jarallah, a graduate with a BA in Political Science from Kuwait University in 1971, joined the Foreign Ministry and worked his way up to Foreign-Undersecretary. In 2006, while serving as foreign undersecretary, he was first appointed to the rank of minister. He was also a board member of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the soft-power arm of Kuwait’s international diplomacy.

Even in the world of diplomacy, known for its polite talking, soft treading, sweet smiling envoys who favor gentle nudgings and discreet maneuvers to influence favorable outcomes, Khaled Al-Jarallah stood out with his courteous manner and his easily approachable nature.

He was often the ‘go-to’ contact for foreign ambassadors and world diplomats in their dealings with Kuwait’s foreign ministry. He was the face of Kuwait in many discreet and delicate ‘behind-the-limelight’ negotiations and discussions held to promote the country’s foreign policies and interests. 

Since 2006, Al-Jarallah was the envoy of choice of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to convey personal messages to regional leaders. Also, as the deputy to then Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Al-Jarallah was at the forefront in promoting Kuwait’s interests in regional and global forums.

An astute diplomat he was capable of deftly weaving the fabric of diplomacy through his vast experience in the field, as well as maintaining and developing diplomatic relations in local, regional and international arenas through his unique style of work and affable nature. 

It is no wonder then that the diplomatic corps in Kuwait have come out with glowing accolades and appreciation for Khaled Al-Jarallah. Many heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the country spoke about their relations with the former Deputy Foreign Minister, recalling his fine qualities and wishing him continued success in his life. They also highlighted his prominent role in the consolidation of bilateral relations between Kuwait and their countries, his extensive experience, his modesty and his sophisticated dealings with everyone.

The Ambassador of Mexico H E Miguel Ángel Isidro saidI would like to extend my profound gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Khalid Sulaiman Al-Jarallah, Deputy of Foreign Minister of Kuwait who has recently resigned his office, for his distinguished efforts and fruitful cooperation he extended to the Embassy of Mexico and support which had a positive impact on the bilateral relations between Kuwait and Mexico throughout his tenure. We would also like to express our best wishes to H.E. Khalid Sulaiman Al-Jarallah for a very bright future and constant success in all his endeavors to come. 

Ambassador of Romania H E Daniel TĂNASEI said I recall with great pleasure our cooperation with the Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, during my term as Ambassador of Romania, since 2016. I particularly remember our fruitful dialogue with His Excellency Khaled Al-Jarallah and his team, on the occasion of the visit of the Romanian Prime-Minister to the State of Kuwait in October 2018, as well as during the Romanian Presidency to the Council of European Union, the first half of 2019.

Ambassador of Czech Republic H E Martin Dvorak stated “I have been serving in Kuwait for almost four years. For the whole of this time, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah was my distinguished partner, an excellent professional diplomat, and a wonderful person always ready to help us diplomats in need. I would like to wish him all the best for the next stage of his life.”

The Ukrainian ambassador H E Dr. Oleksandr Balanutsa said: “On behalf of the Embassy of Ukraine to the State of Kuwait, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah on the occasion of his retirement after distinguished 50-year service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We express sincere gratitude for his hard work, dedication and permanent support of the Embassy’s initiatives as well as for his contribution to strengthening friendly relations and fruitful cooperation in various fields between Ukraine and Kuwait, especially by means of presiding over all the sessions of political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Ukraine and Kuwait. May God grant him good health, wellness and all the best in the next stage of his life.

Ambassador of Greece H.E. Konstantinos Piperigos said: “Al Jarallah was present at the ceremony of presentation of my copies of credentials to the Minister. I visited his Diwaniya once and we had an interesting exchange of views. I was impressed by his style of straightforward talking, the serenity of his voice and the calm transpired by his face.”

The Egyptian ambassador to the country, Tariq Al-Qouni, said: “My relations with Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah were distinguished, as I had several meetings with him on the personal and professional levels.” He added, “I have been touched by his great experiences and insight into matters, and his constant and continuous keenness to support bilateral relations between the two countries,” 

Alina Romanowski, the US ambassador to the country, said: “Thank you Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah for the tireless work to bring our two countries closer.” She noted that his support for the US-Kuwaiti strategic dialogue and other activities “deepened our bilateral relationship.” . She praised his outstanding achievements, adding, “I greatly appreciate his friendship and wish him all the best as he begins the next chapter in his life.”

The Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to the country, Dr. Hong Yong Ji, affirmed that Al-Jarallah “was wise and kind in his dealings with all diplomats, and he played an important role in strengthening Kuwait’s position in the world.”

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Senegal, Abdul Ahad Mbaki, said, “For nearly 50 years of his work, Jarallah was the best representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in all international forums and in his relations with all diplomatic missions.” He added, “I had a special relationship with him, and I used to benefit greatly from his unique diplomatic experience and his experiences, and his memory will remain good in our hearts, and we hope that he will not move away from us, as we are friends of him and the beloved Kuwait.”

The British Ambassador to the country Michael Davenport said, “The United Kingdom and successive British ambassadors in Kuwait have benefited greatly over the years from Khaled Al-Jarallah’s wisdom and wise advice, as the co-chair in Kuwait of the bilateral Joint Steering Group since its inception in 2012.” He added, “Al-Jarallah has overseen the deepening and expansion of cooperation between our two countries in vital areas, such as defense, the Internet, health, education, trade and international development.

The German ambassador to the country, Stephen Moebs, said: “To me, it seems that Jarallah is one of the architects of the modern Kuwaiti foreign policy.” He added that Jarallah received him after presenting his credentials as an ambassador and he was impressed by the  deep understanding of regional and international affairs, held by the Kuwaiti diplomat

Canadian Ambassador to the country Louis-Pierre Edmon said: “It has been a pleasure and an honor for me to work with Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah over the years. He is a true friend of Canada, as he has supported all our efforts to strengthen ties between our two countries at all levels, political dialogue, trade, investment, and defense. He added: “He and his ministry helped us to welcome many high-ranking visitors from Canada, and he always dealt with difficult situations with a smile … We were honored to represent Kuwait in many National Day events and he was essential in leading Kuwait’s presence in the UN Security Council, and we wish him. All the best”.

Charge d’ Affaires at the embassy of Peru H E Rolando Lozada stated that, new tasks reach a great man of Kuwaiti diplomacy, H E Khaled Al-Jarallah, had contributed to the development of the modern Kuwaiti diplomacy built by the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, he contributed to Kuwait with his service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is a man who we consider a school for future generations of local diplomats.  For Peru, he played a key role in the reopening the Embassy and by inking several agreements to strengthen the bilateral relations of our two friendly countries. Not without mentioning multilateral diplomacy while Peru and Kuwait were members of the Security Council at the United Nations.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the country, Elekhan Kahraman, said that Al-Jarallah “is one of the most prominent flags of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has a great role in strengthening relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the friendly State of Kuwait in various fields, and he has extensive experience in the diplomatic milieu from which all diplomats have benefited. And his good relationship with all ambassadors in Kuwait is attested to by everyone. I wish him continued health, wellness and success in his life.

The First Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hamidi Ali Al-Mutairi, said: “I have been lucky since I joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005 and he appointed me as a diplomatic attaché in the affairs of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs’s office, because that allowed me the opportunity to deal with a large diplomatic stature and a real school. In the art of diplomatic, literary and cultural interaction, the deputy minister, Ambassador Khaled Al-Jarallah, was a generous man, a good listener, and a great teacher.

The Ambassador of Tajikistan to the country, Dr. Zabidullah Zabidov, said that he considered Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah,  a close friend of his after ten years of interaction. He added that Abu Hazem is a friend to everyone and has a vision, wisdom and the best representative of Kuwaiti diplomacy, pointing out that he worked hard to raise the name of his country in all international forums. He continued, “Jarallah, with his great heart, wisdom and poise, was able to win the hearts of all around him. Congratulations to a man who gave limitless efforts and time to help everyone. We hope that we see him in the highest positions, as he deserves it.”

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