NEW YORK: Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah affirmed on Thursday that Kuwait considers the agreement to regulate navigation in Khor Abdullah waterway valid and in full force. "The State of Kuwait will consider the agreement to regulate navigation in Khor Abdullah waterway and the security swap protocol, effective because of their importance in maintaining security and safety of navigation," His Highness Sheikh Ahamd Nawaf said in his speech at the 78th UN General Assembly in New York. He underlined that the agreement and the protocol are crucial for preventing chaos, border violations, and the high possibility of influx of illicit arms and drug, which are the two main sources for financing various terrorist militias.

His Highness the Amir Representative pointed out that the State of Kuwait, over nearly two decades, and out of its belief in the principle of good neighborliness has standing by the side of Iraq to develop and restore its regional and international status to achieve the hopes and aspirations of its people. "However, we were astonished by the ruling of the Federal Supreme Court in the brotherly Republic of Iraq, declaring as unconstitutional the law ratifying the agreement regulating maritime navigation in Khor Abdullah," His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf said, noting that the agreement was signed and ratified by Kuwait and Iraq in 2012 and deposited with the United Nations in 2013. He also regretted the historical fallacies about Kuwait mentioned in the Court ruling. "We were also stunned by the Iraqi government decision, a few days ago, to invalidate the security swap protocol inked between the leadership of the Kuwaiti Naval Force and the leadership of the Iraqi Naval Force in 2008," he said, cautioning about the negative repercussions of such move on the maritime security and navigation in Khor Abdullah waterway. His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf called on the Iraqi government to act swiftly to address the fallouts of the Supreme Court's verdict.

"From this platform, from which the multilateral diplomatic process was launched to maintain international peace and security, the State of Kuwait urges the Iraqi government to take concrete, decisive and urgent measures to address the repercussions of the ruling and the historical fallacies mentioned therein in a way that preserves good neighborly relations," he stated. He reiterated Kuwait's call for mutual respect of the security, independence and territorial integrity of both countries, the signed bilateral agreements and the relevant UN resolutions, most notably the UN Security Council Resolution No. 833, which delineated the land and sea borders between the two sides up to the marine mark No. 162. "We call on the brotherly Republic of Iraq to prove good intentions and complete the meetings of the relevant technical teams, "Till the demarcation of the borders beyond mark No. 162, in accordance with international laws and conventions, the State of Kuwait reserves its full right to take whatever measures it deems necessary at the legal and international levels to preserve its established legitimate and legal rights in accordance with international resolutions and the international law provisions," he said.


Divided Zone

Meanwhile, His Highness the Prime Minister said that the natural resources in the submerged area adjacent to the Divided Zone belong solely to the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "The natural resources in the submerged area adjacent to the Kuwaiti-Saudi Divided Zone, including the entire Durra field, belong solely to the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," His Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf said. "Only Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have full rights to exploit these resources," he affirmed. He reiterated "Kuwait's categorical rejection of any claim of right by any other party in this field or the submerged area adjacent to the Divide Zone". His Highness the Amir Representative also renewed Kuwait's call to the Islamic Republic of Iran to take serious confidence-building measures and to commence a dialogue based on respect for other countries, non-interference in their internal affairs and guaranteeing the freedom of maritime navigation.

Meanwhile, His Highness the Prime Minister stated that the "New Kuwait" vision aims to transform the country into a financial, commercial and cultural hub. He said the development vision seeks to keep pace with all international economic and financial indicators to achieve this goal. He noted that foreign policy is present in this expanded development process through a diplomacy that takes initiatives stemming from the country's relief and humanitarian legacy.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmad renewed his country's commitment to cut carbon emissions. "In light of the deterioration of the environment worldwide, my country has voluntarily and thoughtfully made clear progress to fulfill obligations and according to available capabilities, especially in the field of rehabilitation of the oil, industry and transportation sectors with the aim of reducing emissions, diversifying energy sources, improving their efficiency, and using alternative and renewable energy," he said, recommitting to Kuwait's previous pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 in the oil sectors.

His Highness the Premier said that the Gulf Cooperation Council States have been and continue to be pioneers in supporting the multilateral international community due to their belief in its centrality in addressing common challenges. He wished the success of the climate change conference "COP28" which will be held in the Emirate of Dubai in the sisterly United Arab Emirates.

He welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the establishment of a global water organization based in Riyadh in order to develop and integrate the efforts of countries and organizations to address water challenges in a comprehensive manner in to ensure the sustainability of water resources.

He welcomed Qatar's hosting of the upcoming the Horticultural Expo entitled "Green Desert, Better Environment" in an effort to encourage innovative solutions towards the sustainability of desert areas.


Palestinians' rights

In the meantime, His Highness the Prime Minister renewed Kuwait's full support to the Palestinian people and their rights. "For 75 years, the Palestinian people have been suffering due to the international community's failure to enforce the UN resolutions" and the Zionist entity occupation's practices which violate all international norms and laws, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf said. He asserted the centrality of the Palestinian cause in the Arab and Muslim worlds. His Highness the Premier noted that Kuwait has submitted a written plea to the International Court of Justice to give its opinion on the consequences of the Zionist entity occupation's ongoing violations of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. He stressed Kuwait's firm and principled stance in support of the Palestinian right to establish an independent state on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

His Highness also called for peaceful solutions to the conflicts in Yemen, Sudan and Syria. "We renew our support for the efforts undertaken by the United Nations through the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen in order to resume the political process and reach a comprehensive settlement in accordance with the three agreed-upon terms of reference: the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, and the relevant Security Council resolutions, especially the UNSCR 2216 in a way that preserves the security and stability of Yemen and its territorial integrity," His Highness Sheikh Ahmad said.

On the fighting in Sudan, His Highness the Premier expressed Kuwait concerns about the situation there and called on all parties to immediately stop fighting, resort to dialogue and return to the peaceful political path to preserve the security and stability of Sudan and its territorial integrity. He also voiced support for all ongoing regional and international initiatives in this regard, including the Saudi-American initiative.

On Syria, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf stressed the need to intensify efforts to reach a political solution in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, especially Resolution 2254. His Highness the Amir's Representative extended condolences to Morocco and Libya over the victims of the recent earthquake and floods.


Hate speech

His Highness the Prime Minister urged international synergy to confront hate speech and media misinformation targeting Muslims. "As we look forward to boosting global dialogue and spreading the culture of coexistence, tolerance and peace at all levels, Muslims are still facing irresponsible provocative attacks by a number of extremists," His Highness Sheikh said. He criticized the burning of copies of the Holy Quran in a number of countries under "flimsy justifications" of freedom of expression. He underlined the need for concerted international efforts to deal with hate speech and media misinformation targeting Muslims.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmad called on UN members states to vote for Kuwait's bid to join the UN Human Rights Council. "We are looking forward to the UN member states voting for the State of Kuwait to obtain the Human Rights Council membership for the period from 2024 to 2026 in the elections planned next October," His Highness said. His Highness pointed out that Kuwait, through its membership bid, seeks to meet the aspirations of the developing world by extending bridges of cooperation and working in a way that helps reach comprehensive and just solutions to human rights issues in accordance with the provisions of international law, international humanitarian law and UN resolutions. He renewed adherence to the multilateral international order and to the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter to maintain international peace and security and serving all of humanity.