Kuwait's former Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al-Sabah attends the international conference. - KUNA
Kuwait's former Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al-Sabah attends the international conference. - KUNA
Kuwait ‘essential partner’ to NATO

ROME: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Italy, Nasser Al-Qahtani, underscored Wednesday the importance of strategic cooperation between Kuwait and NATO, as Kuwait is an essential partner in boosting regional stability and security in the Arabian Gulf region. Ambassador Al-Qahtani spoke to KUNA on the sidelines of an international conference marking 75 years since the establishment of the alliance.

The conference, held in Rome, was inaugurated by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Inviting former Interior Minister and chief of national security Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah as a keynote speaker on security and peace at a time of global change reflects the significance of Kuwait’s regional role, stated Al-Qahtani. Al-Qahtani also called it an opportunity for the exchange of perspectives on preserving global stability, especially during these tumultuous times.

Sheikh Thamer called for intensifying cooperation between the military alliance and the states of the Istanbul initiative to arrive at sought-after results. Kuwait joined the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative back in 2004 and, since then, has adopted an active role in facing regional and international challenges. Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali commends the role of Kuwait-NATO in cementing regional security.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s former interior minister, Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al-Sabah, has lauded the fruitful strategic cooperation between the State of Kuwait and NATO for its impact on regional security and stability. Speaking at an international conference held in Rome to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NATO foundation, Sheikh Thamer, also the former chief of Kuwait’s National Security Apparatus, highlighted the development of Kuwait-NATO relations and cooperation over the past two decades.

As he co-chaired a special session on “Security in the Southern Neighborhood: The Gulf Region,” alongside the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme Defense Council in Bahrain, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, Sheikh Thamer pointed out that Kuwait was the first country to join NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), which is a platform established by NATO to promote security cooperation on a bilateral basis between NATO and partner countries in the broader Middle East region, in June 2004.

He hailed the establishment of the ICI Regional Center in Kuwait in 2017 as the culmination of the cooperation between Kuwait and the Alliance. Sheikh Thamer shed light on the center’s activities and contributions in dealing with emerging challenges. According to NATO, the NATO-ICI Regional Center in Kuwait acts as a hub for the enhancement of practical cooperation between NATO and its Gulf partners. It aims to improve common understanding of security challenges and, through increased interoperability and standardization, enable closer cooperation.

The hub promotes practical cooperation in various areas, including strategic analysis, civil preparedness, military-to-military cooperation, and public diplomacy. Sheikh Thamer underscored the importance of understanding the special nature and dimensions of regional security in the Middle East. He called for acting to confine weapons to states after the spread of weapons among nonstate actors and terrorist organizations in many countries.

He described NATO as the most important organization concerned with strategic and geopolitical security. Sheikh Thamer urged the alliance to increase and intensify mutual cooperation with the Istanbul Initiative countries to achieve the initiative’s goals and maximize benefits for all members. On the sidelines of the conference, Sheikh Thamer held meetings with the Italian Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO, Mircea Geoana, and several key participants. Kuwait’s Ambassador to Italy, Nasser Al-Qahtani, attended the meetings.

The Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI), in collaboration with NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, organized the International Conference “NATO at 75: Shaping a New Transatlantic Agenda, Security, and Peace at a Time of Global Transformations,” held on April 15–16 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty that established NATO on April 4, 1949, and to review the principal issues facing NATO today. — KUNA

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