Defense Minister meets with NATO chief, Qatari, Jordanian officials

Left to right: Mohammad Alsabah (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Kuwait) shaking hands with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Al-Hamad Al-Sabah met yesterday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg, during the meeting, lauded Kuwait’s constant efforts in a bid to maintain stability in the Middle East region.

Minister Mohammad Al-Khaled then received at his residence Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khaled Bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah. The two ministers discussed topics of mutual concern on the sidelines of a meeting of international coalition ministers to combat the so-called Islamic State (IS). Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled also received Jordan’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Major General Mahmoud Freihat and focused on some issues of mutual interest. The meetings were attended by Kuwait’s ambassador to Belgium Jassim Al-Budaiwi.

NATO’s meeting on the global coalition to counter IS had kicked off Thursday with participation of Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled. “Since September 2014, you have made tremendous strides toward the eventual defeat of IS, retaking the battlefield, countering propaganda, and breaking affiliate networks. Each contributing in your own ways,” Stoltenberg said in his opening speech.

“Today, IS and terrorism remain among the most pressing challenges we face. While NATO itself is not a formal member of the Coalition against IS. Every NATO Ally is contributing to Coalition efforts,” Stoltenberg said. He also noted that NATO is deploying AWACS aircraft in support of Coalition operations and training Iraqi security forces.

“Working closely with partners in the Middle East and North Africa to help them secure their borders and territory. Establishing a new regional center in Kuwait to coordinate our work in the Gulf. But we have the potential to do more. Training local forces is one of the best weapons we have in the fight against terrorism and building stability,” Stoltenberg added. “The defeat of IS is a global challenge that requires a generational response. This Coalition has an unwavering commitment to see this fight to its conclusion,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said “We are united in this fight to defeat IS,” adding that the meeting aims to orchestrate an international pressure on the terrorist group, which will not be over quickly, but “we intend to accelerate the fight.” – KUNA

This article was published on 17/02/2017