RIYADH: Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah (left) and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan sign a memorandum of understanding between the two countries in Riyadh yesterday. - KUNA

RIYADH: Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah yesterday headed the State of Kuwait delegation partaking in the first meeting of the Kuwaiti-Saudi Coordination Council, hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi delegation was headed by the Kingdom's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan.

The meeting was held in line with guidelines by Kuwait's late Amir His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, with the blessings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as well Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz -- depicting the deep-rooted ties between the two brotherly countries and peoples.

The Council, establishment minutes of which were inked in July 1981, aims at working out a joint vision for rendering the relations between the two countries stronger and sustainable in tandem with the GCC objectives, boosting the GCC integrated economic system, finding solutions for optimum use of national resources, consolidating cooperation and integration among the member states in all spheres, ensuring effective execution for the cooperation and partnership, promoting the two states' status in the economic, human resources development, integration at the security and political levels and others.

Participants in the meeting explored various key cooperation spheres bonding the two brotherly countries, namely in the economic, investment, security and development sectors. They discussed in particular means of boosting the coordination at these levels. The council embodies desire of the Kuwaiti and Saudi leaders to lay the multilateral action by the two sides within an institutionalized framework that contributes to the approach toward progress and prosperity.

The Kuwaiti foreign minister addressed the session, expressing gratitude for the warm hospitality, noting that the meeting was held, for the first time at this level, upon instructions by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf and King Salman bin Abdulaziz. He shed light on the historic ties between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, noting that this relationship is unique worldwide, affirming that the session was held in line with the mutual desire to elevate the relations to higher and wider scopes; also for sake of consolidating the integration on diverse arenas as well as for devising an objective mechanism to measure the aspired progress at the economic and investments levels.

He noted that the meeting was held following the visit paid by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the Kingdom on June 1. He noted that during the visit, the Crown Prince held cordial talks with Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Kingdom's Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. The two sides had affirmed necessity of joint action for consolidating the bilateral relations in the economic and investment spheres.

Sheikh Dr Ahmad noted the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the State of Kuwait from the flagrant Iraqi occupation, recalling that the Kingdom had played a pivotal role in freeing the country and reinstating the legitimacy. The Kingdom, he continued, had put all its potentials at the disposal of liberating the State of Kuwait.

Also in this respect, he brought into recollections the leading role of the late Saudi King Fahad bin Abdulaziz. He also underscored the role, during the occupation, of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who was serving, at the time of the crisis, as the Prince of Riyadh. The Kuwaiti foreign minister praised the great achievements in the Kingdom in various spheres, lauding the success of the G20 Summit that had been chaired by the Kingdom.

He also lauded the Saudi "green initiative and the green Middle East initiative," as pioneering solutions to face climatic change at the regional and international levels, in addition to the chain of accomplishments for attaining the promising Vision 2030. "We also praise the Kingdom's balanced role for stability of oil prices and maintaining energy supplies to the world," he stated.

Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad has noted that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been bonded with a number of agreements and memos in diverse fields particularly at the economic and trade levels, noting that the Kingdom ranks as the top commercial partner with Kuwait in terms of Kuwaiti exports, at a value exceeding $670 million in 2020.

Last year, the Kuwaiti-Saudi trade exchanges amounted in value to nearly $2 billion, Sheikh Dr Ahmad said, affirming the growing cooperation at this level. He noted the role of the private Kuwaiti sector in the Kingdom. "Moreover, encouraging direct investments will contribute to cementing the bilateral economic and investment relations between our two brotherly countries, where volume of the Kuwaiti businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has exceeded $2.5 billion."

The foreign minister also noted that some highlights of the meeting is the inking of six accords, memos and cooperation programs in the spheres of youth affairs, direct investments, education and teaching, higher education, scientific research, sports and diverse standardization -- raising the tally to 27 agreements and memos. He noted that the second meeting at this level would be hosted by Kuwait next year. - KUNA