KUWAIT: Kuwait is ready to resume negotiations with the European Commission on exempting Kuwaiti nationals from Schengen visa, Assistant Foreign Minister for Europe Affairs Ambassador Waleed Al-Khubaizi affirmed yesterday. The Kuwaiti government is willing to resume talks once the commission resolves the issue of influx of illegal immigrants to Europe, Khubaizi said in a press statement after meeting with Nicholas Westcott, Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at the European External Action Service in EU. The Kuwaiti request for a Schengen visa waiver was addressed to Westcott during the meeting, he mentioned, adding consultations were also held during the meeting, discussing ways to boost bilateral ties and activating cooperation agreements signed between them last July.

Consultations also included boosting bilateral economic, energy, and humanitarian cooperation, the Kuwaiti diplomat said, adding that talks also shed light on the Kuwaiti "eminent" presence in Europe, particularly in investment and energy fields, and ways to capitalize on such distinctive bilateral ties in order to reach further mutual understanding.

The two sides also discussed the Kuwaiti-European common interests such as efforts to restore stability, boost security in the region, and strengthen human rights principles and values. They also agreed on activating cooperation between Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and European development institutions in Third World countries, particularly the African continent, which is part of Kuwait's role in humanitarian action. - KUNA