US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

KUWAIT: Kuwait
hosts on Tuesday the 3rd Kuwait-US Strategic Dialogue Session, to be co-chaired
by the two countries' foreign ministers, with aim of further cementing
relations and cooperation to new levels. The previous Strategic Dialogue
sessions were held in the US in 2016 and 2017, during which the two countries
signed cooperation agreements and memoranda of understandings (MoUs) over
security, counter-terrorism, economy, trade, education, oil, custom and
consular affairs, raising to 23 number of deals between the two countries.

This year's
session will be co-chaired by Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and US Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo. The strategic dialogue will set a roadmap for cooperation between
Kuwait and the US for the next 25 years in different fields. Trade exchange
amounted to $4 billion and Kuwait was investing $400 billion in the US. Kuwait
and the US are also important players in the counter-terrorism efforts as well
as in the global fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS).

Continuous work

The two countries
seek, through strategic dialogue, to boost cooperation and coordination over
regional and international issues, US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman
said. The dialogue is a foundation for "our continuous work" and was
supported the leaderships in the two countries, he added. Since the strategic
dialogue was established in October 2016, said Silverman, work groups began
implementing cooperation means in defense, trade, security, investment,
consular affairs and education. Relations between the Kuwaiti and American
armies are excellent, he said, and the US commitment to defending Kuwait's
security was firm.

Silverman said
the US was providing technical support for Kuwait army and security forces. He
added US and Kuwaiti military personnel were working together on training of
Kuwait armed forces. America is the second largest exporter of goods and services
to Kuwait, said Silverman. The US, he affirmed, welcomed His Highness the Amir
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's initiatives aimed at maintaining
security of Kuwait, as well as achieving security and stability in the region.
Kuwait also played a key role in regional issues, he said, hosting donor
conferences for Syria and an international meeting for the reconstruction of
Iraq last February.

Silverman also
noted Kuwait's leading humanitarian role in the region and the world. The US
delegation to the strategic dialogue will exchange views over pressing regional
challenges including Yemen, Syria and Iran, said Silverman, in addition to
bolstering counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination within the UN
Security Council. Among authorities taking part in the dialogue from Kuwait are
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense and Higher Education,
Directorate General for Civil Aviation, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion
authority (KDIPA), Kuwait Investment Authority, National Security Bureau,
Directorate of Custom, and Communication and Information Technology Regulatory
Authority (CITRA).


Meanwhile, a
Kuwaiti official said that signing an agreement to boost their ongoing
Strategic Dialogue and others in defense, security and economic affairs will be
on the agenda of Pompeo's visit to Kuwait. During his past trip to Washington
in September, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
signed numerous deals illustrating the two countries' intent to further cement
their relationship, according to Reem Al-Khaled, Kuwait's assistant foreign
minister for the Americas. In Kuwait, a meeting for Pompeo with His Highness is
scheduled, whereby, along with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the three will discuss developments on
issues of mutual significance, added Khaled.

The talks will
also present an opportunity to delve into several regional and global matters,
namely the Gulf dispute, relations between Gulf states and Iran and the
situations in Syria, Yemen and Libya. About the Strategic Dialogue, currently
in its third annual session, this will include the usual topics of defense,
education, economics, consulate and customs affairs, civil aviation and cyber
security - with the matters of trade and scientific research introduced to the
fold for the very first time.

The Kuwaiti
official also pointed out that five working groups, stemming from the dialogue,
have been meeting on several occasions during the year. One of these will host
businesspersons and companies at an economic and investment forum jointly
organized by the Kuwaiti and US chambers of commerce, both of whom are expected
to sign a memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting economic relations. - KUNA