While the Gulf region and many countries including the US are confronting serious challenges in the region, Kuwait appears safe from conflicts under the wise foreign policy led by HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and many Kuwaitis are not worried. Has Kuwaiti foreign policy succeeded in maintaining a difficult balance in the tense region? The answer is yes, and here is why.
Kuwait is the only Arab country that has not publicly faced a foreign diplomatic crisis in the past 10 years with almost any country except in its relations with the Syrian regime within the framework of the Gulf, Arab and international stance to condemn the violence there. Yet, lines remain open for dialogue and diplomacy.
Kuwait’s foreign policy is supported by the positions of the political leadership represented by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who is considered one of the most open Arab leaders and most committed to the protocol of participation in regional, Arab and international events. In fact, the policy of neutralizing adversaries has been very successful for Kuwait, and it did not drift to enter into a tense relationship with any external party or state within its territorial sphere.
Even in the global campaign against terror, Kuwait has always been content to provide logistical support to the international coalition, even in times of tension with Iran or Iraq. Moreover, Kuwait has offered various initiatives to neighboring Iraq following the tensions after the invasion by the former Saddam regime and maintained a balance in respect for the self-determination of the peoples of neighboring countries.
Indeed, Kuwaiti diplomacy has succeeded in not creating opponents, which is difficult today for many Arab and foreign countries, as Kuwait is among the few countries in the world that does not have direct enemies or even tensions in its external relations that pose a threat to security of the country’s nationalism. So, Kuwait indeed is the Arab country with the most positive external alliances with various countries in the world.
Kuwait is located in a geopolitical and geographic area that is inflamed by wars, disputes and conflicts, in addition to being a rich oil country. The reality is that the Gulf states, including Kuwait, export 40 percent of the world’s energy needs, and their strategic position contributes to the stability of the world.
While many Arab countries have classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, Kuwait has not made such a classification to respect the privacy of every country as long it is under the law and the constitution that allows freedom of thought and expression to all components of society, taking into account the diversity of the Kuwaiti society’s composition of citizens and expats. The majority of the components of the society are in harmony under the state and a constitution that guarantees all rights and freedoms that may not be permitted by other countries.
Moreover, internal political movements and the opposition did not have any negative impact on Kuwaiti foreign policy and its relations with other countries. I know that we are not an ideal state and we have opponents or individuals who chose to exile themselves and stay outside the country over political rivalries, but this did not change or affect foreign policy in any way.
While Kuwait’s neighbors have been tense with Iran, including the United States, Kuwait did not sever its relations with Tehran. Kuwait also acted as a peace broker, and the same applies to its position towards Qatar and the Gulf states. As a Kuwaiti citizen, I feel proud that my country is on the rise. I like it that Kuwaitis can enter many nations without a visa, although citizens of many Arab countries face difficulties in the freedom of travel and getting a visa.
I believe that there is a deep understanding in Kuwait’s foreign policy that no country in this world should think it has a right to interfere in the affairs of others, or that their religions or beliefs are incompatible with the concepts adhered to by the countries of the world under the charter of the United Nations.
According to the Index of Peace in International Relations, Kuwait is among the governments that do not face clear tensions in relations at all political, military, security, economic levels. There is no doubt that Kuwait’s foreign policy has succeeded for decades, while others have failed or are struggling in maintaining a balance. I am proud of my political leadership and the success of my homeland.
By Muna Al-Fuzai