Assistant Foreign Minister for Development and International Cooperation Ambassador Hamad Al-Mashaan announced that the Kuwaiti-Australian relations began in 1974, indicating that the value of investments between the two countries amounted to more than USD 16 billion in the oil and investment sectors. Al-Mashaan, during the Australian National Day celebrations at the Australian Embassy on Monday, stated that apart from the 500 students enrolled in Australian universities and the presence of Australian forces in Camp Arifjan, Australia and Kuwait also participated in the international coalition against ISIS.
Moreover, the official said that there is communication between the governments of the two countries regarding the Australian Prime Minister’s earlier announcement on stopping the live export of livestock to countries in response to petitions from local animal welfare organizations. He explained that if Australia stops exporting sheep to Kuwait, there are other alternatives, including South Africa. Recall that Australia is one of the sources of food security for Kuwait, considering its important role during the coronavirus pandemic.
On the other hand, the Australian Ambassador to the country, Melissa Kelly, stressed the importance of the Kuwaiti-Australian partnership, which was founded on three main pillars namely food security, investment and education. She expressed her thanks and appreciation to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all Kuwaiti partners for their contributions to the embassy, especially in the past six months since she assumed the position of Australian ambassador to the country.
Kelly explained during her ceremonial speech titled “Australian Forest Trip” that for Aboriginal Australians, the forests are a sacred source of food and a place to meet and communicate, which is a concept synonymous to the meeting of Australian and Kuwaiti cultures. She also added that the defense and military cooperation dates back to 1991 when Australian forces participated in the war to liberate Kuwait, and a small contingent of Australian defense forces currently operates in Arifjan camp, stressing the two countries’ efforts to ensure regional stability and enjoy a unified policy. She also urged Kuwaitis to visit Australia to spend their summer holidays, invest in business, and obtain university degrees.
In another report, the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy to the country, Jim Holtsnider, confirmed that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken toured the region to hold discussions, particularly Egypt, Israel and Palestinian territories. He added that the United States is committed to the two-state solution, but is currently looking for solutions to bring the two parties back to the negotiating table, pointing out that the US President’s visit to the region has been long planned and has nothing to do with the recent happenings in Iran. Holtsnider added that US officials started multiple visits to all allied countries across the region and the world at the end of the coronavirus pandemic to work on strengthening relations and partnerships.