WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States of America places "tremendous value" on the role that Kuwait plays as an "advancer of peace." In an exclusive interview to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Blinken said, "We of course place tremendous value on the role that Kuwait plays, an almost unique role that it plays as a facilitator, mediator, advancer of peace and leading the way to resolve conflicts."

He added that "in many ways Kuwait has been an indispensable bridge to try to resolve challenges in the region and even beyond; the role that it has played in healing the Gulf rift was critical and essential, the role that it plays as well in Yemen in trying to end the war there is vital. We see that in Lebanon, we see that in the relationship it has development with Iraq," Blinken said, affirming "it's something that we place tremendous value in."

Strategic Dialogue

On the Fifth US-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue, Blinken said each dialogue "is building on the previous one and demonstrating in concrete ways how we are both deepening, strengthening, but also expanding our ties and the work we are doing together." "I think I come away from this fifth Strategic Dialogue convinced that this partnership continues to deepen but in ways that I think, benefiting both our peoples but also beyond people, around the world," he added. He continued "I was in Kuwait last year; it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait and the 60th anniversary of our (diplomatic) ties and what is so important, beyond the powerful symbolism of that is that day in day out," the two nations are working to further boost the collaboration and cooperation.

He affirmed that "ties in new areas, I think are quite extraordinary and powerful," shedding light on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two countries "to deal with the potential outbreak of dangerous diseases and to make sure that we are working together, sharing information to detect the spread of dangerous pathogens and to be able to prevent that and deal with that." "That's exactly the kind of collaboration that is bringing us together not only to deal with traditional threats, but some ones that the entire world is facing," he stressed.

Driving progress

He continued by saying that the strategic dialogue "even if it culminates or starts with a conversation between the (foreign) ministers, the critical work is done in the working groups, noting "that's how we actually make sure that we're driving concrete progress." He said that the work the working groups are doing "including the work that they do in between the dialogues, the communication they have, the efforts to advance the different initiatives that we're taking, that's what's important."

On the 18th anniversary of the designation of Kuwait as a major non-NATO ally of the US, Blinken said "it's a testimony to the importance of the partnership, the significant role that Kuwait plays, not only as a peacemaker, as a bridge, but also for example, in the coalition to counter Daesh, where Kuwait has played an essential role and continues to play one because unfortunately, even though the threat has been significantly reduced in recent years thanks to the good work that we have done together, it remains real and we remain very vigilant together." "It's a testimony to the, in many ways, unique role that Kuwait and our partnership plays both in trying to advance peace but also to deal with challenges to our common security," he remarked. - KUNA