Kuwait PM at UN General Debate: “Remarkable” developments in relations with Iraq


UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26 (KUNA) — After nearly 22 years since Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the aftermath of the deterioration of relations between the two neighboring Arab nations, Kuwait highlighted “remarkable positive developments” in relations with Iraq after HH the Amir of Kuwait’s milestone visit to Iraq earlier this year.


“Kuwait-Iraqi relations have witnessed remarkable positive developments, as the State of Kuwait has let bygones be bygones to open up a new chapter in ties between the two neighboring countries,” said Representative of HH the Amir at the 67th session of the United National General Assembly, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on Wednesday.


“HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s milestone visit to Baghdad to attend the Arab Summit late last March has given great impetus to the relations with Iraq.” He added that the Iraqi Premier Nuri Al-Maliki’s visit to Kuwait on March 14 has also helped restore confidence and create a congenial atmosphere for a new chapter for relations.


“Moreover, the Joint Kuwaiti-Iraqi Committee convened in April, and the two sides have reached several important points of understanding on some of the pending issues as well as agreeing on a plan of action to accelerate Iraq’s fulfillment of its UN obligations, in order to end the sanctions imposed on it under the UNSC Chapter VI after the occupation of Kuwait,” he said.


Meanwhile, Sheikh Jaber lauded the UN’s role in resolving international disputes, but underlined the need for restructuring the UN’s organizations and upgrading its mechanisms to help meet growing challenges on the international arena.


In this regard, he called for fair and evenhanded representations for world countries in its organizations, particularly the Security Council. “The State of Kuwait underscores the importance of reforming the UNSC to better reflect the new international reality and ensure a proper representation of Arab and Muslim countries in line with their size, contributions and roles in defending the goals and principles of the UN and its charters,” Sheikh Jaber said. He condemned both of the recent anti-Islam movie as well as the violent protests it triggered, stressing the need for international actions against those instigate hatred and tension amongst the followers of different faiths. “Kuwait strongly condemns the production of this movie and the killing and violent actions that followed it,” he said, stressing that these actions contradict with the core teachings of the religion of Islam.


With this, he recalled HH the Amir of Kuwait’s call for a UN anti-religions defamation convention during the UN General Assembly summit on inter-faith dialogue in November, 2008.


“The UN General Assembly has to due attention to HH the Amir’s call and pass a resolution in this regard to protect social security and stability in the world,” he stressed.


The Kuwaiti Premier lamented the failure of all efforts to stop 18-month-long violence and bloodshed in Syria. He recalled HH the Amir’s calls at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit (OIC) on August 12 for an international action to put an end to the plight of Syrian people.


“These (horrible) scenes in Syria put a huge responsibility on our shoulders before, our God, nations and conscience, and prompts us to move without hesitation to end this violent tragedy,” he said quoting the words of HH the Amir in the OIC summit. Sheikh Jaber also denounced the Israeli government’s defiance to UN resolutions and international calls for stopping settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands and the choking siege on the Gaza Strip. “The State of Kuwait calls on the UNSC to press Israel to abide by UN resolutions related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said, which call on Israel to withdraw from all Arab land occupied on June 5, 1967, in order to help achieve comprehensive peace in the whole Middle East region. He also called for international measures to persuade Israel to recognize the right of Palestinians to have their own independent state, with East Jerusalem as its future capital.


“Kuwait urges the need for good preparation for the 2012 (UN) summit on forming a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction in reference with the closing declaration of the 2010 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.” On this, he reiterated Kuwait’s call on Iran to take “serious and effective steps in the sake of cooperating with international efforts aimed at a diplomatic solution to its nuclear programme and dissipating any doubts on its aims and objectives,” thus avoiding “further crises and struggles that have become unfortunately common to this vital region.” On Iran’s relations with its surrounding neighbours, namely the United Arab Emirates, he added: “We also hope of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate and comply with initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis over the occupied Emirati islands according to the principles and regulations of international law.” He urged Iran to be “an effective side in the region that practices its role according to the basis and principle of mutual respect and joint interests, in order to create a natural cooperative environment that serves the region, without interfering in its internal affairs.” Sheikh Jaber went on to highlight Kuwait’s support of reform plans in Yemen, guided by its President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud in Somalia. He also hailed UN and international community efforts he described as “positive” on dealing with the issue of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Burma (Myanmar) and expressed hope these efforts would be met with an end to the violence and spread of peace in the country.


He went on to stress Kuwait’s commitment to providing aid to impoverished countries. “Despite being a developing country itself, Kuwait has been since gaining independence in 1961 strongly committed to helping countries that are developing and are witnessing slower growth, through a number of mechanisms and initiatives, namely the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which has been providing assistance to Arab, Asian, African, Central American and Latin American nations.” He also pledged Kuwait’s commitment to the international organisation’s efforts. “We pledge Kuwait’s complete commitment and cooperation in support of UN efforts to achieve the aims of its charter and enhance its international role in executing what has been agreed upon at its conferences. In the context of its international commitment, Kuwait is set to be hosting in October this year the first Asian Dialogue Initiative Summit of heads-of-state, after it had been limited to foreign ministers in its 10-year-long lifespan. In March next year, Kuwait will also be hosting the Arab-African Summit, and the Kuwaiti senior official said he hoped these two meetings would do much to open up new prospects for stability, development and cooperation between the countries in the regions.


“Kuwait gets ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of its constitution in November and this marks a four-century period of development and political growth,” he said.


It also “marks the growth of comprehensive and effective democratic practice, as the constitution is a torch that guides the State of Kuwait – its government and people – through a path of a generous lifestyle based on mutual rights and duties, the ensuring of basic rights, general policy-making and on organizing the country’s foreign policies without interfering in the affairs of others.


“This is an illustration of Kuwait’s political vision, based on faith in peace, and working for it, and ensuring developing and enhancing its relations with surrounding countries according to the principles of mutual respect and joint interests.


“Kuwait has faith that dialogue and spreading the beliefs of acceptance and moderation, and rejecting violence and fundamentalism are the key and the correct path towards equality, justice and reaching the most noble of causes, which is ensuring international peace and stability”, he concluded.