US-Kuwait work­ing groups to fur­ther en­hance ties: US en­voy

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

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

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