KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is seen off at the airport as he prepares to leave Kuwait, heading to China on an official state visit. - KUNA

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah left Kuwait yesterday heading to the People's Republic of China on an official state visit. His Highness the Amir was seen off at the airport by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and top state officials.


The delegation accompanying His Highness comprises of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, Minister of Finance Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh, Minister of commerce and industry Khaled Al-Roudan and Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water Bakheet Al-Rashidi.


The delegation accompanying His Highness also includes, Chief of Staff of His Highness the Amir's Office Ahmad Fahad Al-Fahad, Advisor at the Amiri Diwan Dr Yousef Hamad Al-Ibrahim, Amiri Diwan advisor Muhammad Abdullah Abu Al-Hasan, Chief of Amiri Protocols Sheikh Khaled Al-Abdullah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah and Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Suleiman Al-Jarallah.


The delegation also gathered the Chairman and CEO of the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, Engineer Salem Al-Othaina, Director General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development's (KFAED) Abdulwahab Al-Bader, Head of Media and Cultural Affairs at Amiri Diwan Yousef Hamad Al-Roumi, Head of Political and Economic Affairs at Amiri Diwan Sheikh Fawaz Al-Saud Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, Director General of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Chief Executive Officer of the apparatus for developing the Silk City (in Al-Sabbiah) and Boubyan Island, Faisal Al-Medlej and top officials at Amiri Diwan, Foreign Ministry and oil Ministry.


Strategic relations


His Highness the Amir's visit to China will contribute in setting a roadmap for future strategic relation with Beijing, a Kuwaiti senior diplomat said Friday. The visit would give more oomph to cooperation in many crucial domains, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said. He indicated that such visit comes amidst "highly complicated and sensitive" regional and global times and circumstances, which require the wisdom-imbued consultation and coordination between the two political leaderships.


Strategic partnership with China went a long way thanks to the astute vision of His Highness the Amir, which clearly manifested in joint mega projects, he noted. The Amiri visit will started yesterday and runs until July 10, with His Highness Sheikh Sabah leading the highest-level delegation in history since the first visit to China that was made by the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 1965. His Highness will also be a guest of honor at China-Arab States Cooperation Forum as the first Arab leader to deliver a speech with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, in the presence of Arab foreign ministers.


flourishing ties


His Highness the Amir's state official visit to China will represent a new flourishing period of relations between the two countries, Kuwaiti Ambassador to China Samih Johar Hayat said on Friday. The visit will cement the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides, he added in a statement.


"The Kuwaiti-Chinese ties are deep-rooted and strong. And the two leaders are keen on developing and promoting them to serve interests of the two nations in all fields and on all levels," he said. Kuwait-China ties are a unique example of the fruitful bilateral relations based on the strategic partnership, he stressed.


The trip will witness the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding in varied fields that will be added to the 50 ones inked over the last 50 years, he indicated. Such agreements and memoranda of understanding aim to promote partnership and cooperation between the two countries, and open new horizons of the joint action in different sectors, he said, affirming that this materializes the desire of the two countries' leaders.


Choosing His Highness the Amir as a guest of honor of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum shows the strength of the Kuwaiti-Chinese relations, he said, referring to the shared conviction of the importance of the bilateral ties and the need to develop them continuously.  On the Belt and Road Initiative launched by China in 2013, Hayat reiterated the importance of strengthening economy between the two countries and reviving the ancient Silk Road, which will contribute to the prosperity of the world economy due to the lack of Central Asian countries of seaports.


Silk Road project


He affirmed that Kuwait's participation in the Silk Road project shows His Highness Amir's strategic vision aiming to transform the country into a financial, commercial, cultural regional and international hub. Reviving the Silk Road project will help the State of Kuwait restore its leading role in the commercial and economic fields in the region as it enjoys a distinct geographic location, Hayat said.


He pointed out that there is a consensus between Kuwait 2035 vision and China's Belt and Road Initiative to revive the Silk Road and establish a vital commercial area that serves the world's countries by land and sea, and to contribute to the prosperity of the world economy. He stated that senior Chinese officials are showing full and clear cooperation on how to benefit economically from the Kuwaiti islands.


Kuwait is the first Arab and Gulf country seeking to sign a memo on promoting cooperation with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, he made clear. He referred to Kuwait's announcement that it would support the initiative.


"We share China's deep confidence and deep aspirations for the success of the official talks to be held between His Highness the Amir and his Chinese counterpart on pushing forward cooperation and coordination in reviving the historic Silk Road, which has a key role in linking different societies in terms of religions and culture," Hayat said.


The two countries' leaders have been supporting and sponsoring the historic friendly relations to achieve strategic cooperation in all fields, he re-affirmed. - KUNA