US-Kuwait working groups to further enhance ties: US envoy
US Ambassador Designate to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman said that the multifaceted working groups formed at the concluded US-Kuwaiti dialogue will take a “very good relationship and make it even better.”
“This is a relationship of mutual benefits to both our peoples,” Silverman said in an exclusive interview, “not just to one and not the other very tangible benefits.” Silverman was speaking a few days after a visit by Kuwait’s chief representative at the initial talks of their kind, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to Washington.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled had headed a delegation of officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, defence, interior and higher education, and state bodies like the National Security Bureau, Kuwait Investment Authority and Kuwait Direct Promotion Authority. During his brief stay, the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and his delegation met US State Secretary John Kerry and other US officials, including Ambassador Silverman.
Silverman said that these different working groups will “work on very, very practical issues,” which aim to “bring even more benefits to the two peoples.” In spite of both nations being “in contact all the time,” he added the work groups are a way of “putting even more of an emphasis” on bilateral cooperation. “We have our experts and Kuwaiti experts to really go into the details.”
The talks covered security, defense, education, trade exchange and consular issues, he said. On education, in particular, Silverman said the US was “facilitating” the travel of even more Kuwaitis to complete their higher education across US universities. “We welcome them. It’s good to have them,” he said. “We think they can have a good education (in the US) and then come back and contribute even more to Kuwait.”
Regarding security-related affairs, he said the US “reiterated our commitment” to Kuwait’s security. “Kuwait has been the victim of terrorism, particularly last year, and we have always tried to work together to try to enhance the capabilities of Kuwait to provide security to its own people,” he underlined.
On defense, he said that Kuwait plays an “important role” in the international coalition’s efforts to combat the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, across Iraq and Syria. The dialogue was the “very first time that we ever had such a comprehensive discussion on all of the issues,” he said.
The Kuwaiti people “should see that what we did here is something very practical,” he added. It “should not be looked at as just a meeting.” However, he mentioned that the talks were “very broad” and were only the “beginning of an effort to enhance our relationship.”— KUNA