WASHINGTON: US Department of Defense Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Ilan Goldenberg has affirmed that the US “stands firmly committed to the defense of Kuwait, something that has been the keystone of our relationship”. In remarks at a reception hosted by the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) on behalf of Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Jasem Al-Budaiwi Tuesday, Goldenberg said that “Kuwait remains a critical leader in Middle East and a beacon for regional stability”.
He continued that “the defense partnership is one of the most important security relationships that the US has and we will always value that partnership”. He also expressed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “gratitude for several key elements of the strong relationship” with Kuwait. Ambassador Budaiwi said in his remarks that Kuwait and the US consider each other as “true and reliable” partners and that Kuwait is “proud” of the relationship it enjoys with the US. “I cannot stress how proud the State of Kuwait is of its relationship with the United States of America,” he remarked. “We refer to the US as a true and reliable partner and know that the feeling is reciprocated.”
Budaiwi added the Kuwaiti government has entrusted him with “the honorable task” of further boosting relations with the US both “bilaterally and multilaterally”. He noted the challenge facing him is “twofold”. “First, is to protect and nurture what we already share and have accomplished as nation states and as individuals. Secondly, to find innovative ways to maintain momentum to the initiatives already underway, while at the same time searching for new elements and topics to engage in; particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that the international community needs to intensify its cooperation to meet the current global challenges as well as those that lie ahead,” he said.
Budaiwi added “of the many ideas that are being discussed between the two sides, the following topics are among the most important elements that the State of Kuwait aspires to move forward in with the United States”, namely cooperation on food security and cyber security and strengthening the health and educational systems, in addition to “opening innovative and new horizons for bilateral economic and environmental cooperation”.
He added another aspect is multilateral relations, saying “working through regional coordination with our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab world, the State of Kuwait enjoys an important and strategic position in the field of reconciliation, mediation and preventive diplomacy.” He affirmed “as we continue to work closely and constructively at both the bilateral and multilateral levels and by demonstrating our mutual commitment to the security and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East, the interests of both our nations will grow and prosper to the benefit of all mankind”.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Benaim said in remarks “our two countries have an incredibly important and enduring relationship” that is being “memorialized” in the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial which is going to be a reminder of the importance of what the two countries achieved. “Our challenge now is to live up to that legacy in real time and to vigorously write the next chapter together for the next generation. The truth is that this is a warm relationship between friends and there’s so much that we are already doing and there’s so more that we can all do together,” he added. Benaim congratulated Ambassador Budaiwi on his new posting and his “time to carry this partnership and we look forward to carrying it forward with you”.
US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking shed light on the role of Kuwait as “a peacemaker and bridge builder”. He said he looks forward with working with Ambassador Budaiwi “on the really difficult and in fact the wonderful issues that mark the spectrum of our relationship together.” He highlighted Kuwait’s contributions to the humanitarian situation in Yemen, saying that the kind of way that Kuwait functions and that is the way Ambassador Budaiwi functions.
NCUSAR Founding President and CEO Dr John Duke Anthony highlighted Kuwait’s position regionally and internationally, affirming that for over 40 years, he has been working with countries in the Middle East and Kuwait stands out to be a very close partner and true friend to the US as they share many common principles and values. Anthony also shed light on the humanitarian role Kuwait plays internationally. Earlier in August, Budaiwi became the ambassador of Kuwait to the US. – KUNA