UN Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly
THE TIMES KUWAIT REPORT
United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly affirmed that the Kuwaiti-British relations are historic and strong, hoping to further develop them in the future.
In an interview with state media last Thursday, on the sidelines of his visit to the country, Mr. Cleverly noted that the two countries share 125 years of relations, adding that the celebration of the 70th anniversary of opening the Kuwait Investment Office in London is an example of the strong partnership between Kuwait and the United Kingdom.
The Secretary of State who is on a three-day visit to the region, expressed his joy at meeting with His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. During the meeting they discussed bilateral ties on all levels. Mr. Cleverly also discussed topics of mutual concern with ministers.
The UK is committed to defending and protecting Kuwait’s security and stability, said the minister, noting his country’s role in standing side by side with Kuwait during the Iraqi Invasion. He emphasized that the UK’s relations with Kuwait are not only limited to the military and economic fields, but also include health, technology and education.
The British Foreign Secretary added that the UK is looking forward to cooperating with Kuwait to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East region, to encourage countries to turn to dialogue instead of political conflicts. He also noted that his country aims to enhance cooperation with the GCC states, through signing a free trade zone agreement. Touching on the Palestinian cause, Mr. Cleverly said that Kuwait has been continuously supporting Palestine and its people, adding that Kuwait and the UK share the same view on the ‘two-state’ solution, to achieve peace in the region.
Meanwhile, he spoke of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying it is similar to what happened to Kuwait in 1990, affirming that the UK is against any violation of international law.
During his visit, the UK minister also met separately with First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad AlSabah, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil, Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment and Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Saad Al-Barrak and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
During his three-day visit to the Middle East that began on 25 July, the foreign secretary hopes to emphasize the UK’s continued commitment and growing partnership with countries in the region. The visit comes after the government recently announced that citizens from Gulf countries and Jordan will benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation visa scheme, which will make travel to the UK cheaper and easier for visitors.
All three countries are also important energy, defense and security partners for the UK, and trade and investment with the Gulf is vital to support the UK’s priorities to grow the economy. Speaking ahead of his visit to the region, Mr. Cleverly said: “I am delighted to be back in the Middle East. The UK’s mutually beneficial relationships with the Gulf and Jordan continue to thrive. We have a bright future together.
On Tuesday, Mr. Cleverly began his trip with a visit to Qatar where he held discussions with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. He also visited the UK-Qatar Joint Air Squadron at Dukhan Airbase, accompanied by Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah.
Following his visit to Kuwait, the British foreign secretary is slated to visit Jordan and hold high-level meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. During the visit he is also expected to announce up to £1.5 million to support initiatives for women and girls through civil society organizations.
He will also meet with representatives from UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency) and the World Food Programme where he will announce funding of £30 million over three years to provide cash assistance and support to the poorest refugees.