Monday, January 18, 2021 | ePaper

59th NATIONAL DAY AND 29th LIBERATION DAY OF KUWAIT

The Pursuit of Kuwait's Diplomacy

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The strategic location of Kuwait in the Middle East, overlooking the Arabian Gulf on the East, Saudi Arabia on the South and south and West, Iraq on the West and North and Iran just across the Arabian Gulf as well as the embedded Kuwaiti tradition of humanitarianism and philanthropy, have shaped the pursuit of international diplomacy of the State of Kuwait. This oil rich country is located in a geopolitical and geographic region that is inflamed by wars, disputes and conflicts.
Since the dawn of Kuwait's independence, the farsighted and pragmatic Kuwaiti leadership pursued a proactive political and economic diplomacy that defined its relationship in the region and beyond. Dating back to the early 30s, the successive rulers of Kuwait have worked concertedly with different governments in the Gulf region to resolve regional disputes, conflicts and diplomatic spats. Since 1961, Kuwait maintained strong international relations with most countries that are characterized by neutrality.
Its diplomatic endeavor in this aspect is characterized by its advocating of the use of dialog and negotiations in resolving all contentious problems between States in accordance with the principles of right and justice. This has put Kuwait in a good stead to master the balancing act in its diplomatic thrust in the region. The objective of Kuwait's pursuit of diplomacy is based on a pragmatic and balanced approach and is conducted with the government's philosophy of social justice as enshrined in its constitution and the interest of the State.   It is a well-known fact that this balanced policy so deftly pursued by the political leadership in Kuwait not only had a neutralizing effect on potential adversaries but it also kept Kuwait from drifting into any tense relationship externally.
His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, while emphasizing on the core external policy of Kuwait, said "One of the main objectives of Kuwait's diplomacy is to cooperate with all countries to maintain global security and stability as well as to attain sustainable development of societies". Indeed, Kuwait strives to strengthen cooperation with all countries on the basis of two core principles of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries as well as the respect of territorial integrity of all nations, irrespective of its size, status and geographic location. His Highness the Emir said in unequivocal terms that "sovereignty is the inalienable right of every country". Kuwait adheres to a policy characterized by clarity, straightforwardness and quiet diplomacy. A case in point was the endeavor of Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah in 1974 when as Foreign Minister of Kuwait, he led a delegation that facilitated the participation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the first OIC summit in Pakistan.
His Highness the Amir asserts that the pursuit of Kuwait's diplomacy is the first line of defence of the State's security and interests. Kuwait endeavors to promote peace among nations and enter into meaningful partnership with all countries for the development of societies.
Kuwait's foreign policy is pragmatic when it comes to geopolitical rivalries. Kuwait is a silent force of stability in the region and exerts itself through its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. In its pursuit of economic diplomacy, His Highness the Amir said that the assistance provided by Kuwait in the form of loan and grants is a testimony of Kuwait's effective in building bridges of friendship and cooperation. In a generous display of soft power, Kuwait has used the nation's vast reserves to support humanitarian efforts around the world that has earned international acclaim. Since 2014, Kuwait has spent over US $ 1.4 billion to help alleviate extreme poverty and suffering around the world. Kuwaiti aid reaches far beyond its Middle Eastern neighbors. Kuwait has provided assistance to Bangladesh, Yemen, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and such other nations that are facing crises stemming from conflicts and natural disasters or are striving to attain sustainable development. Kuwait funded multipurpose shelters, provided loans in energy sector including core electricity projects, agricultural sector, deep and shallow deep wells, building communication infrastructures and desalination plants to ensure safe and sustainable water.
At the same time, His Highness the Amir continues to play the role of a crucial mediator in diplomatic disputes and rows, particularly in the region.
Kuwait has strong conviction that world peace, stability and prosperity can only come through a rational approach deal with divisive issues that should be resolved amicably through discussions.
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the Kuwaiti government has played a key role in supporting multilateral humanitarian action, most notably by hosting the International humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syrian aid in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Further, the  mediatory roles of his Highness the Amir particularly during the 2014 rift between some GCC member countries and Qatar, in the 2016-17 conflict in Yemen and in the effort to diffuse tension between Iran and some GCC countries testify to the unique foreign policy of Kuwait that is a blend of its philanthropic characteristic and economic diplomacy.
The goal of Kuwait's diplomatic thrust is to ensure the safety and security of Kuwait and its people. To complement its diplomatic initiative, Kuwait has also entered into defence cooperation with the US, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France. In late 2018, Kuwait signed a defence pact with Turkey to broaden its military security.
 Kuwait appears safe from conflicts under the wise foreign policy led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah who has earned the high level of international respect for his diplomatic acumen.

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