Iran should adopt serious confidence-building measures

NEW YORK: Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah addresses the UN General Assembly in New York. —KUNA

NEW YORK: Kuwait is ready to host the Yemeni parties to sign a final peace agreement, extending support to UN efforts to reach a political settlement for the Yemen conflict, a senior government official said.

“We express our readiness again to receive our Yemeni brothers to sign a final agreement once they conclude it,” representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said in a speech before the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Kuwait hosted the UN-brokered Yemeni negotiations for more than three months last year in a bid to help reach a peace agreement. The parties failed to reach any deal. His Highness the Prime Minister renewed support for the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmad’s attempt to solve the conflict, which caused massive humanitarian and economic problems for the Yemeni people.

Kuwait rushed to help the Yemeni people and allocated $100 million to provide relief aid for the people in need to ultimately restore security and stability in the country, which has been in uncertainty since the coup of Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the legitimate leadership.

His Highness the Prime Minister reasserted commitment to unity, sovereignty and independence of Yemen. He also rejected any interference in its internal affairs. A solution to the crisis in Yemen, he added, should be based on outcome of national dialogue, the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanism and UN resolution 2216.

Serious measures
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak meanwhile called upon Iran to adopt “serious confidence-building measures” towards building relations based on mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the UN General Assembly in New York, said relations with Iran should also be based on rejection of all practices undermining regional security and stability.

Those relations, which should be based international law and principles of UN Charter, should ultimately contribute to peace and security for all people in the region, said His Highness the Prime Minister.

Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah visited Iran last January and delivered a letter from His Highness the Amir to President Hassan Rouhani, dealing with dialogue between the Islamic Republic and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Kuwait is acting on the GCC behalf in holding a dialogue with Iran with the objective of having relations based on mutual respect and good neighborliness.

Palestinian State
Kuwait condemned Israel’s recent acts in Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, urging the international community to compel Israel to abide by UN resolutions to pave way for establishment of the independent Palestinian State.
His Highness Jaber Al-Mubarak said the Palestinian people have been suffering from the Israeli occupation for the past 50 years. The Israeli occupation, he added, was not complying with UN resolutions including the latest resolution 2334, which considered Jewish settlements illegal and called for their complete halt.

There were many UN resolutions, regional and international initiatives aimed at solving the Palestinian cause, said His Highness the Prime Minister, but they all failed because of the Israeli blatant rejection. The Israeli illegal practices in occupied Jerusalem aimed at changing its demographic structure, he said, in complete breach of UN Security Council resolutions and the 1949 Geneva Fourth convention.

“We call upon the international community and the Security Council to live up to their responsibilities, and to continue pressure on Israel to implement the international resolutions so that the Palestinian people gain their full rights,” he said. These rights, he added, including the recognition of their independent state on the June 4 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the land-for-peace principle and the 2002 Arab peace initiative.

Rohingya repression
Meanwhile, His Highness the Prime called for the immediate cessation of repression against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and allow them to live in peace, while condemning all forms of terrorism.

“We call for the immediate halt of all repression acts carried out against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar,” His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said in a speech before the UN General Assembly in New York. He called on the authorities in Myanmar to allow the Rohingya to live in peace and grant them their rights.

The authorities in Myanmar have been assaulting the Rohingyas which forced hundreds of thousands of them to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, promoting an international outcry. His Highness the Prime Minister said Kuwait was firmly against all forms of repression and terrorism, violence and extremism, and supported international measures to eradicate terrorist groups.

Kuwait, he added, was provided logistical support for the international counter-terrorism coalition. He noted that actions of so-called Islamic State (IS) were “violating the simplest human rights principles,” and have created humanitarian disasters. His Highness the Prime Minister said the Middle East region faced numerous security challenges, which required collaboration of countries of the world to confront the menace of terrorism, whose victims were mostly civilians.

UNSC commitments
In the meantime, His Highness the Prime Minister indicated that Kuwait would cooperate with Iraq to fulfill commitments towards Kuwait as listed in UN Security Council resolutions, noting it would host an international donor meeting to rebuild Iraqi areas liberated from terrorists.

Kuwait is showing flexibility towards payments of billions of US dollars in compensations of damage caused by the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Iraq is compelled to pay the compensations in line with relevant UNSC resolutions. Kuwait’s move “aims at helping Iraq regain its regional and international role,” representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said. He noted that Kuwait, in cooperation with Iraq and the international community, would be hosting an international donor conference next year to rebuild areas liberated from IS. His Highness the Amir had called Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi following the liberation of Mosul to congratulate him on the victory, and offered to host the international conference.

His Highness the Prime Minister, in his UN speech, congratulated the Iraqi government and people for their victory against IS and the liberation of many areas that used to be under the terrorist group’s control. “We are looking forward that these victories continue until the liberation of all areas, to contribute to boosting national conciliation among all segments of the Iraqi people,” he said.

This conciliation, said His Highness the Prime Minister, should preserve unity, independence and sovereignty of Iraq in order to pave way for reconstruction and return of internally displaced persons to their homes. The Iraqi armed forces, backed by the international coalition fighting IS, have been liberating many areas occupied by the terror group. His Highness the Prime Minister said terrorist and extremist groups were “exploiting Islamic teachings … to achieve illegitimate objectives. They want to create chaos, incite sedition, and provoke hatred and extremism.”

Peaceful settlement
On Syria, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak called for pressing all parties to the Syrian conflict to speed up the political process to reach a peaceful settlement based on UN resolution 2254. The Syrian political process “is still slow,” and the negotiations between the Syrian parties over the past five years failed to “achieve any progress,” His Highness said.

He called for pressing the Syrian parties to engage in a direct dialogue aimed at reaching an inclusive peaceful settlement, which preserves the unity, independence and sovereignty of Syria, and honored the aspirations of the Syrian people. His Highness the Prime Minister reiterated rejection to any military solution to the Syrian conflict, which caused a humanitarian catastrophe since its broke out in March 2011. Kuwait rushed to help the Syrian people, hosting three international donor conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and participating in two other donor meetings in London, last year, and in Brussels, last April.

Kuwait contributions to the Syrian people amounted to $1.6 billion, said His Highness the Prime Minister. His Highness the Prime Minister said Syria has been devastated by the conflict, which killed more than 400,000 people and displaced some 12 million. Kuwait government and non-government organizations (NGOs) has been providing humanitarian aid for the needy Syrians, who were either internally displaced or in refugee camps in neighboring countries.

 

Sustainable development
Moreover, His Highness the Prime Minister said Kuwait was committed in implementing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-30, which would complement its New Kuwait 2035 vision. He further noted that the ‘New Kuwait’ vision was based on a vision by His Highness the Amir to transform Kuwait into a regional financial, commercial, cultural and institutional hub. He said New Kuwait vision, which was based on seven pillars, would involve all government and non-government parties to push forward a national development plan for the future of Kuwait.
His Highness the Prime Minister brought to the UN attention that the SDGs were facing big challenges caused by behavior of human beings, natural disasters and global warming. He called for promotion of partnerships among development agencies in order to eradicate poverty and climate change.
Kuwait, said His Highness the Prime Minister, has contributed to development at the economic, social and environment fronts. His Highness the Prime Minister, meanwhile, said Kuwait supported UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ reform plans. He also called for the reformation of the UN Security Council to include an Arab representation that matched the Arab countries’ contributions to the UN.

Better role
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said that Kuwait would be committed to strengthening UN Security Council’s role in preserving world peace and security, when the Gulf country assumed non-permanent UNSC membership next January. He added that Kuwait would work on enhancing UNSC role in conflict prevention, mediations, peaceful resolution of crises and promotion of transparency within the Council.
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, said the State of Kuwait, whose last UNSC membership was in 1978-79, also sought to promote contribution of small countries in the different UN agencies. His Highness the Prime Minister said Kuwait, which would take over the UNSC rotating presidency next February, would work hard to activate international response to refugees, immigrants and displaced. His Highness the Prime Minister, who thanked all countries that voted for Kuwait’s 2018-19 UNSC membership, hoped that “peace and security prevails in the whole world.” – KUNA