‘Saudi key player in resolving regional issues’
KUWAIT/RIYADH: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is set to visit Kuwait after the end of the 37th GCC summit to discuss means of resolving issues facing the region, as part of the strong ties shared between the two countries. The deep Saudi-Kuwaiti relations date back to the two countries’ establishment era. The first agreement signed between the two sides was on December 2nd, 1922 to draw borders.
After Kuwait’s independence from the UK, Saudi has directly recognized Kuwait as an independent nation. According to history records, a neutral Saudi-Kuwaiti zone used to exist; however, after the discovery of oil, the two sides agreed on drawing borders in that area in 1969.
Meanwhile, the kingdom played a huge role in supporting and liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi Invasion in 1991. Back then, King Fahad bin Abdulaziz also provided aid and shelter for Kuwaitis who fled the invasion.
The two sides are also cooperating on all levels, as Saudi provides annual scholarships for Kuwaiti students to join the kingdom’s universities. Moreover, being one of the top oil producers in the world, Saudi and Kuwait signed economic agreements that boosted their commercial exchange. In the same context, Kuwaiti investors have the biggest share among GCC citizens in Saudi’s real estate and trade bureaus.
Meanwhile, a number of Saudi politicians and media figures said that their country’s relations with Kuwait are exemplary, strong, and historic. In a number of interviews, the Saudi officials said that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have always worked on means to bolster the brotherly and historic relations linking the two nations, adding that the fellow Gulf countries will continue to work together for their welfare and security.
Ex-member of the Saudi Shura Council Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Zalfa said that it was natural for both GCC countries to have strong relations, noting that the ultimate test of ties came during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait which Saudi Arabia strongly opposed.
The upcoming visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Kuwait, the first of its kind since he became Monarch in 2015, will further enhance relations between the two countries, said Al Zalfa, adding that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will surely continue to coordinate efforts amongst them within the regional and international domains.
In the meantime, Saudi UN goodwill and humanitarian relations Ambassador Mohammad Al-Hammadi said that the Saudi Monarch’s visit to Kuwait came at a critical moment in the region with the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and King Salman will focus their efforts to fend off all kinds of threats against their countries and will work on measures to further enhance the strong relations, said Hammadi.
Meanwhile, head of Al-Shrouq strategic studies center Dr Abdulrahman Al-Bashen that the similarities between Kuwaiti and Saudi societies made relations strong and forever bonding. Bashen said that both nations were keen on regional and international security, adding that the two countries’ coordinative efforts led them to stand together in pride within the international arenas.
Speaking on the significance of the Saudi King’s visit to Kuwait, assistant chief editor at Al-Hayat newspaper Saud Al-Rayes said that the regional status quo required such coordination amongst leaders of the GCC. Only joint efforts and determination will lead the people of the region to safety, said Rayes.
Also touching on the same issue, Sultan Al-Qahtani, chief editor of Al-Riyadh Post online, said that the inclusion of Kuwait in any Arab coalition was an important step for success. King Salman’s visit to Kuwait is within the GCC countries efforts to boost coordination and cooperation, said Qahtani.
Similarly, academics at Kuwait University (KU) stressed the importance of the Saudi King’s upcoming visit in resolving issues of the region. King Salman’s visit to the UAE, followed by Qatar, Bahrain, and then Kuwait, aims to boost cooperation in all fields, history professor Hamad Al-Qahtani said.
Saudi Arabia has put huge efforts to end the war in Yemen and Syria and provide humanitarian aid to those affected by war in the Arab World, he added. Since his assumption of power in 2015, King Salman had a vision to resolve all issues facing the Middle East region, noted Qahtani.
Meanwhile, he mentioned Saudi’s role in protecting Kuwait against the Iraqi threats in the era of President Abdulkareem Qassim, where former Saudi King Saud bin Abdulaziz sent his army to support Kuwait. He also spoke of the Kingdom’s role in liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi Invasion in 1991, in the era of King Fahad bin Abdulaziz.
Also, head of Political Science Department Dr Abdullah Al-Shayji affirmed that the GCC States are looking forward to create strong unity against all dangers. The Gulf Region is in need of such a step due to the current regional and international changes, including the escalating violence in the Arab World, the new US government, and the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), he explained. – KUNA