BRUSSELS: A senior Kuwaiti official announced yesterday earmarking $300 million in aid for Syria. “I am pleased to announce today contribution by the State of Kuwait with 300 million US dollars for a duration of three years in support of Syria at the official and private levels,” said Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Sheikh Sabah Khaled made the announcement in his address to the third Brussels Conference on ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the region.’ The official contribution will be according to mechanisms of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister stated. “We hope that we will be able to attain the aspired objectives and help our (Syrian) brothers sooth their wounds,” he added.

BRUSSELS: Officials pose for a photograph during the third Brussels conference on ‘supporting the future of Syria and the region’ at the European Council in Brussels yesterday. — AFP

Ninth year
Sheikh Sabah Khaled, who headed the Kuwaiti delegation, delivered the statement at the conference inaugural session, expressing regret that the “Syrian tragedy is entering its ninth year [today] March 15,” amid absence of “any political solution to this humanitarian cause.” Sheikh Sabah Khaled called for greater efforts to reach a peaceful solution to end the crisis as soon as possible, according to relevant international references, namely United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254. He expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by the UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, as well as by his predecessor, Staffan de Mistura.

Noting that the current conference is the seventh to be held to make financial pledges for the Syrian people, Sheikh Sabah Khaled noted that Kuwait had hosted three congresses of identical level, took part in two others that had been held later, contributing in all these conventions with a total of $1.6 billion. Moreover, Kuwait, in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, had sought in coordination with Sweden to issue the resolution 2401, which was unanimously adopted. The abovementioned resolution stipulated cessation of combat action in Syria for 30 days, facilitating dispatch of humanitarian aid, in addition to implementing Resolution 2449, issued in December 2018, on renewing the mechanism of dispatching the assistance via the borders.

Top concern
Meanwhile, a senior EU official affirmed that the conference is held here for keeping Syria on ‘top of the international agenda.’ “We are convening today together with the United Nations, the third Brussels conference, gathering 80 international delegations, more than 50 countries, for three main reasons: the first one is to keep Syria and the Syrian people on top of the international agenda,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told reporters ahead of the meeting. “We gather here so many from all around the world to say, we have to keep focused on a political solution for the conflict in Syria, it’s not over yet, people need our support,” she stressed. – KUNA