First Deputy Prime Minister meets British Minister of Defense Procurement
KUWAIT: Security in Kuwait and the entire Arabian Gulf region is inextricably linked to the safety of Britain, a British minister said yesterday, reminiscing about how Britain stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Kuwait during the 1990 Iraqi invasion. British Minister for Defense Procurement Stuart Andrew’s visit to the Gulf state comes in the midst of the country’s national celebrations, he said in an interview. Kuwait and Britain celebrate this year 120 years since the Anglo-Kuwaiti agreement sparked a robust partnership that stands to this day, the minister pointed out.
On Britain’s role towards preserving security and peace in the Middle East, he said the country is eager to impart some its military knowledge on its allies in the region. The British government is a proponent of Kuwait’s 2035 development plan, he added, saying high-level bilateral talks over matters such as security and defense are held on a regular basis. In response to a question over whether Britain perceives the Middle East region as a platform to flex its military muscle, the British minister said the Middle East is an important ally with whom Britain shares an interdependent relationship. On a related note, he allayed concerns over a diminished British presence in the region as a result of its withdrawal from the European Union, saying the country will continue to reach out to its allies in the Middle East.
Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and British Minister Andrew had discussed issues of common interests during a meeting held at Bayan Palace on Tuesday. Both sides discussed military cooperation during the meeting, the Ministry of Defense said in a press statement. Sheikh Nasser underlined the depth of the bilateral relations between the two countries and the keenness of both sides to strengthen and develop them, it added. Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Mohammad Al-Khedhr, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and UK Ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport, attended the meeting. The First Deputy, meanwhile, also received at Bayan Palace the President of the Municipal Council Osama Al-Otaibi, where they exchanged views over several topics, said the ministry. – KUNA