British Ambassador completes one year
KUWAIT: A roundtable discussion with local journalists was held at the British Embassy in Kuwait with Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport who recently completed a year since taking office. Davenport was accompanied by Matt Nottingham, Head of Political Section (Internal Affairs) at the British Embassy. The new political section head was also formally introduced by Ambassador Davenport before the start of the roundtable with reporters. Davenport spoke about his country’s excellent bilateral ties with Kuwait which dates back several decades.
“Our ties have grown ever deeper and closer in the last 12 months of my stay as her Majesty’s Ambassador to Kuwait. Our relationship is very dynamic and constantly evolving in all areas of cooperation. We are very optimistic about the future,” Davenport said. He lauded the recent vote for Kuwait to become a permanent member in the UN Security Council last January which he stressed is also supported by the British government among other countries.
“We have had opportunities of high level conversation with the exchange of visits. The foreign minister of Kuwait visited London in July, and we discussed the strong and established framework of our relationship through a joint steering group,” he added. “One of the significant highlights of our bilateral relations is in the area of education. The number of Kuwaitis going to the UK to study has been steadily growing; we have now 5,500, some of them I have met recently. That is something that we are really very happy and proud of,” he said.
The mobility and travels between the two peoples is also bringing about the introduction of a new electronic visa system. “We see a significant increase in the number of Kuwaitis travelling to the UK and people from UK to Kuwait. We are emphasizing the co-operations we signed that coincided with the visit of Sheikh Salman to London. I also want to highlight the work we are doing in the security side. We have several plans in the short term including training exercises with the Kuwait Armed forces early next year, desert warrior exercises with the Kuwait armed forces. We are also exploring the possibility of training on a more regular basis,” he added.
He also highlighted British economic engagement with Kuwait with regards to its vision 2035. “There is on-going cooperation in the health and environment sector especially with the subject of renewable energy. If we are talking about infrastructure, I am happy that British companies are actively involved in several engineering and design departments especially in the construction of the new airport. A British company is also involved in the oil and gas sector to help tackle the challenges of inflating oil prices and the eventually rise in production,” he added. Several international issues and concerns were also discussed including Brexit, the Scottish desire for independence, issues within the Middle East and Iran.
KUWAIT: Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport (4th right) speaking with local reporters.