BRUSSELS: EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met Tuesday with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah to exchange views on the situation in the region in particular in Iraq and Syria, praising Kuwait’s role to resolve Yemen crisis.
According to a statement released by her office this evening, during the meeting, “Mogherini commended the instrumental efforts of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in promoting a peaceful solution to the Yemeni conflict by hosting UN-facilitated talks in Kuwait City.”
Mogherini and Jarallah discussed ways to swiftly promote a negotiated and inclusive political settlements in Yemen by working with all the parties, the UN and regional actors, it noted. They welcomed the fruitful outcome of the EU-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Joint Council and Ministerial meeting held on Monday day in Brussels.
They also discussed ways to strengthen relations between the European Union and the State of Kuwait. They seized this opportunity to formally sign a Cooperation Arrangement between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The EEAS is the EU’s foreign service.
It said that “this Arrangement aims to complement the implementation of the EU-GCC Cooperation Agreement of 1988 by fostering cooperation between the EEAS and the Ministry, by ways of increased exchanges between officials and efforts to promote regular political dialogue and concrete cooperation initiatives.” It added that the two way EU-Kuwait trade in goods totaled 10.2 billion euro in 2015 with a positive trade balance of 1.8 billion euro in the EU’s favor.
Meanwhile, Jarallah said that Kuwait is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council to sign such an arrangement with the EU. He noted that both the EU and Kuwait are leading humanitarian aid players and that this MoU will contribute in boosting their cooperation in this field.
He explained that this MoU offers Kuwait the opportunity to cooperate with the 28-member European bloc outside the EU, for example to give aid and assistance the EU provides to Africa. It also gives us the opportunity to cooperate with the EU in areas like energy, investment and in many areas which strengthen the cooperation between Kuwait and the EU, he said.
Jarallah noted that the EU is a huge organization capable of offering assistance and expertise to other countries. “Through this MoU we can profit from the expertise and capabilities of the EU in Kuwait and also outside Kuwait,” he added.
In other news, Jarallah met Dirk Achten, Secretary General of the Belgian foreign ministry, Tuesday evening and discussed the progress of bilateral relations. “The talks were very fruitful and constructive. We discussed bilateral relations and issues of common interest between the two countries,” Jarallah told the Kuwait news agency, KUNA, and Kuwait TV after the meeting.
He noted that Belgium and Kuwait are enjoying excellent ties since 50 years and that the two countries are cooperating in many fields. “We stressed our desire to strengthen cooperation in these fields,” he said and cited the example of Belgian-Kuwaiti cooperation in the medical sector, education, and also security cooperation.
“We stressed the importance of security cooperation and exchange of information between the two countries and also the possibility of signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries to boost cooperation in this field,” he said.
Jarallah said Kuwait has huge investments in Belgium which have reached $1.1 billion. He also said trade exchanges between the two countries are good but they need to be expanded and upgraded. There will be regular consultations between the officials of the two countries through joint committees, he said.
“The horizon of Belgium-Kuwait ties is very promising and constructive. We felt that the Belgian side is seriously interested in boosting relations with Kuwait and we also expressed our desire to strengthen these ties,” added the Kuwaiti official. – KUNA