Jarallah hails Iraq conference, says Syria top priority
KUWAIT: Efforts exerted by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to prevent the escalation of the Gulf dispute were a success, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Jarallah said in an interview with Kuwait TV on Wednesday. The Amir moved quickly to mediate due to his commitment to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s unity, added the Kuwaiti official. Jarallah said the continuation of the stalemate on the affair “pains us on a daily basis”.
Regarding the Arab quartet’s (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt) recent statement on the matter, Jarallah said he was appreciative and proud that the document presents a positive indicator of Kuwait’s continuing role of mediation. In response to a question whether the US planned to host Gulf leaders in a bid to resolve the dispute, he confirmed there were attempts, but that so far no invitations have been sent. However, Jarallah said several prominent Gulf figures would be shortly visiting the US amid moves which could pave the way for the convening of the summit.
Regarding Yemen, he said Kuwait places the matter on its priorities list through its non-permanent UN Security Council status and after hosting three months of peace talks between Yemeni factions which nearly reached a breakthrough. Kuwait remains keen to once more host the Yemenis for the signature of a reconciliation document agreed upon by the opposing factions, he affirmed.
The Kuwait-hosted conference on Iraq’s reconstruction, held under the initiative of HH the Amir, assured the world that Kuwait has forgotten its wounds and has been victorious in its moral role throughout the Arab and Islamic regions, Jarallah said. He said the event presented the world with a clear message that this is Kuwait’s direction, and this is its leadership – a point which received global acclaim and admiration.
The efforts Kuwait assumed in order to make the event a success were tireless, he added, mentioning that the conference differed from others due to its focus on development. Furthermore, the World Bank’s cooperation gave the conference credibility, he added, applauding the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s role in reaching out to the private sector.
Some 2,400 international businesses were keen on benefitting from the investment opportunities and assurances provided by Iraq, he said. The event, held in February, resulted in contributions worth $30 billion presented by governments and businesses. At the conference, HH the Amir announced Kuwait’s allocation of $1 billion in the form of loans and another $1 billion in the form of investments, alongside donations from Kuwaiti charities.
Alleviating Syrian suffering
Kuwait has worked to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people since the beginning of their crisis, through conferences it has hosted and others it has attended internationally, Jarallah said on Wednesday. He said after receiving a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, Kuwait realized that it must crucially act and work to address the needs and concerns of Arab and Islamic nations.
Along with issues that are of great concern to Kuwait like the Palestinian issue, the urgent situation in Syria has made it a top priority which has the attention of HH the Amir and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Over one month ago, Kuwait along with Sweden, through the coordination of Kuwait’s representative to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi, sought to frame resolution 2401 in relation to the tragic situation in Syria, he said. Kuwait and Sweden completely saw eye-to-eye on the articles of the resolution, he stressed.
Amid fears of a Russian veto, Kuwait had sought to get the consensus of member states on the approved draft, and to discuss it with “our friends in Russia”, added Jarallah. He revealed “positive indicators” on the decision in terms of alleviating the suffering and pain of the Syrian people due to the bombing they are being exposed to.
Under Kuwait’s presidency, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2401, proposed by Kuwait and Sweden, which demanded a 30-day ceasefire to allow the transportation of humanitarian assistance to those in need. The Security Council has been discussing the situation in Syria, particularly in regards to the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, which has been the target of heavy airstrikes since the start of February. Over the past four days, around 400 people have been killed and over 1,000 wounded due to these airstrikes, according to UN estimates. – KUNA