Saudi King’s visit to Kuwait rep­re­sents his­toric ties

‘Saudi key player in re­solv­ing re­gional is­sues’

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Saudi King Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz is set to visit Kuwait af­ter the end of the 37th GCC sum­mit to dis­cuss means of re­solv­ing is­sues fac­ing the re­gion, as part of the strong ties shared between the two coun­tries. The deep Saudi-Kuwaiti re­la­tions date back to the two coun­tries’ es­tab­lish­ment era. The first agree­ment signed between the two sides was on De­cem­ber 2nd, 1922 to draw bor­ders.

Af­ter Kuwait’s in­de­pen­dence from the UK, Saudi has di­rectly rec­og­nized Kuwait as an in­de­pen­dent na­tion. Ac­cord­ing to his­tory records, a neu­tral Saudi-Kuwaiti zone used to ex­ist; how­ever, af­ter the dis­cov­ery of oil, the two sides agreed on draw­ing bor­ders in that area in 1969.

Mean­while, the king­dom played a huge role in sup­port­ing and lib­er­at­ing Kuwait from the Iraqi In­va­sion in 1991. Back then, King Fa­had bin Ab­du­laziz also pro­vided aid and shel­ter for Kuwaitis who fled the in­va­sion.

The two sides are also co­op­er­at­ing on all lev­els, as Saudi pro­vides an­nual schol­ar­ships for Kuwaiti stu­dents to join the king­dom’s uni­ver­si­ties. More­over, be­ing one of the top oil pro­duc­ers in the world, Saudi and Kuwait signed eco­nomic agree­ments that boosted their com­mer­cial ex­change. In the same con­text, Kuwaiti in­vestors have the big­gest share among GCC cit­i­zens in Saudi’s real es­tate and trade bu­reaus.

His­toric

Mean­while, a num­ber of Saudi politi­cians and me­dia fig­ures said that their coun­try’s re­la­tions with Kuwait are ex­em­plary, strong, and his­toric. In a num­ber of in­ter­views, the Saudi of­fi­cials said that Kuwait and Saudi Ara­bia have al­ways worked on means to bol­ster the broth­erly and his­toric re­la­tions link­ing the two na­tions, adding that the fel­low Gulf coun­tries will con­tinue to work to­gether for their wel­fare and se­cu­rity.

Ex-mem­ber of the Saudi Shura Coun­cil Dr Mo­ham­mad Ab­dul­lah Al Zalfa said that it was nat­u­ral for both GCC coun­tries to have strong re­la­tions, not­ing that the ul­ti­mate test of ties came dur­ing the 1990 Iraqi in­va­sion of Kuwait which Saudi Ara­bia strongly op­posed. The up­com­ing visit by Saudi King Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz Al-Saud to Kuwait, the first of its kind since he be­came Monarch in 2015, will fur­ther en­hance re­la­tions between the two coun­tries, said Al Zalfa, adding that Kuwait and Saudi Ara­bia will surely con­tinue to co­or­di­nate ef­forts amongst them within the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional do­mains.

In the mean­time, Saudi UN good­will and humanitarian re­la­tions Am­bas­sador Mo­ham­mad Al-Ham­madi said that the Saudi Monarch’s visit to Kuwait came at a crit­i­cal mo­ment in the re­gion with the on­go­ing con­flicts in Syria, Ye­men, and Iraq. His High­ness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and King Sal­man will fo­cus their ef­forts to fend off all kinds of threats against their coun­tries and will work on mea­sures to fur­ther en­hance the strong re­la­tions, said Ham­madi.

Mean­while, head of Al-Shrouq strate­gic stud­ies cen­ter Dr Ab­dul­rah­man Al-Bashen that the sim­i­lar­i­ties between Kuwaiti and Saudi so­ci­eties made re­la­tions strong and for­ever bond­ing. Bashen said that both na­tions were keen on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity, adding that the two coun­tries’ co­or­di­na­tive ef­forts led them to stand to­gether in pride within the in­ter­na­tional are­nas.

Speak­ing on the sig­nif­i­cance of the Saudi King’s visit to Kuwait, as­sis­tant chief edi­tor at Al-Hayat news­pa­per Saud Al-Rayes said that the re­gional sta­tus quo re­quired such co­or­di­na­tion amongst lead­ers of the GCC. Only joint ef­forts and de­ter­mi­na­tion will lead the peo­ple of the re­gion to safety, said Rayes. Also touch­ing on the same is­sue, Sul­tan Al-Qah­tani, chief edi­tor of Al-Riyadh Post on­line, said that the in­clu­sion of Kuwait in any Arab coali­tion was an im­por­tant step for suc­cess. King Sal­man’s visit to Kuwait is within the GCC coun­tries ef­forts to boost co­or­di­na­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, said Qah­tani.

Re­solv­ing is­sues

Sim­i­larly, aca­demics at Kuwait Univer­sity (KU) stressed the im­por­tance of the Saudi King’s up­com­ing visit in re­solv­ing is­sues of the re­gion. King Sal­man’s visit to the UAE, fol­lowed by Qatar, Bahrain, and then Kuwait, aims to boost co­op­er­a­tion in all fields, his­tory pro­fes­sor Ha­mad AlQah­tani said. Saudi Ara­bia has put huge ef­forts to end the war in Ye­men and Syria and pro­vide humanitarian aid to those af­fected by war in the Arab World, he added. Since his as­sump­tion of power in 2015, King Sal­man had a vi­sion to re­solve all is­sues fac­ing the Mid­dle East re­gion, noted Qah­tani. Mean­while, he men­tioned Saudi’s role in pro­tect­ing Kuwait against the Iraqi threats in the era of Pres­i­dent Ab­dulka­reem Qas­sim, where for­mer Saudi King Saud bin Ab­du­laziz sent his army to sup­port Kuwait. He also spoke of the King­dom’s role in lib­er­at­ing Kuwait from the Iraqi In­va­sion in 1991, in the era of King Fa­had bin Ab­du­laziz.

Also, head of Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence Depart­ment Dr Ab­dul­lah Al-Shayji af­firmed that the GCC States are look­ing for­ward to cre­ate strong unity against all dan­gers. The Gulf Re­gion is in need of such a step due to the cur­rent re­gional and in­ter­na­tional changes, in­clud­ing the es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence in the Arab World, the new US gov­ern­ment, and the UK’s exit from the Euro­pean Union (EU), he ex­plained. — KUNA

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