During the celebration on the occasion of Europe Day 2023, the Chargé d’affaires of the European Union Mission in Kuwait, Gediminas Varanavicius, emphasized the close partnership between Kuwait and the European Union.
Varanavicius highlighted that Kuwait was the first country in the Gulf region to sign a cooperation agreement with the European Union’s External Action Department in 2016, demonstrating their strong relations.
The event was attended by Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs Ambassador Sadeq Marafi, European Union Ambassadors, Sheikhs, and officials, Varanavicius expressed his pride in the achievements made since the opening of the European Union mission in Kuwait in 2019.
He mentioned that in May of the previous year, the “strategic partnership with the Gulf” was announced, aiming to expand and deepen cooperation between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Kuwait. This partnership serves as a roadmap for enhancing ties in various areas such as economy, digitization, energy, security, humanitarian aid, human rights, and institutional cooperation. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of a partnership in the green transition of the energy sector and the fight against climate change.
Regarding climate change, Varanavicius acknowledged its urgency and cited a recent opinion poll revealing that more than half of Kuwaitis believe further action is necessary to combat climate change.
He commended the European Union’s leading role in global climate action and its substantial financial and human resources dedicated to addressing this ongoing crisis.
Youth empowerment was also highlighted as a priority for the European Union, focusing on enhancing the skills and capabilities of younger generations. Varanavicius mentioned the success of the Erasmus higher education program, which provides opportunities for Kuwaiti students to study in European Union countries, as an example of the European Union’s dedication to youth development.
Several European countries have participated in a joint maritime security mission called the European Maritime Monitoring Mission in the Strait of Hormuz since 2020. This mission ensures safe maritime navigation for ships, including those departing from and arriving at Kuwaiti ports.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Varanavicius condemned Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, which has had a global impact since 2022. The ongoing war has claimed numerous lives and displaced millions of Ukrainians, disrupting global trade and causing food insecurity.
He expressed gratitude for Kuwait’s unwavering support for the UN Charter. Kuwait co-sponsored an emergency UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, along with 141 countries, including all member states of the European Union.