local1LONDON: The UK is keen on and committed to the security agreements signed with the GCC countries, particularly Kuwait, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said Friday. In statements to KUNA and Kuwait television, Ghanem said that his separate meetings with UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon reflected the UK’s commitment towards Kuwait’s security.

The meetings touched on the situation in Iraq, Syria, and the recently-signed Iranian nuclear deal, said the official, noting that the UK officials thanked Kuwait for hosting three donor conferences for the Syrian refugees. Ghanem lauded the Britain’s contributions to the Syrians, commending the recent decision to host some 20,000 refugees till 2020.

On his meeting with Hammond, Ghanem described the gathering as ‘very important’ and ‘excellent.’ He noted that the meeting discussed the situation in Yemen and Kuwait’s role in the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi militias there. The meeting also focused on facilitating visa procedures for Kuwaitis visiting the UK, said Ghanem, adding that the new visa system will go into effect next year.

Meanwhile, Ghanem reiterated that the Kuwaiti people would not forget the enormous sacrifices of British servicemen in the Kuwait Liberation War of 1991. “It is an honor for me to be among the heroes who chose with full conviction to partake in liberating my country from Saddam Hussein’s forces,” Ghanem stressed in a function, organized by the Kuwaiti Embassy in London, for honoring British veterans who participated in the Gulf War to end Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

“Thanks to their great sacrifices, Kuwait has become a free and prosperous country,” he said. He added that the two countries would celebrate next year the 25th anniversary of the liberation war. It was an exceptional juncture in the two centuries-long relations between Kuwait and the United Kingdom, Ghanem noted. He underlined Kuwait’s eagerness to take bilateral relations and cooperation in different domains to new heights.

The chief lawmaker also spoke highly about the significant and constructive role of the United Kingdom in boosting security and stability of Gulf and Middle East regions as well as its support of reforms to meet people’s aspirations.

Critical moments
Commander of the British Seventh Armored Brigade in Kuwait Liberation War General Patrick Cordingley expressed pride of his country’s contribution to the international coalition for liberation of Kuwait.

He recalled some of the critical moments in the war when there were growing fears from chemical or biological assaults from the Iraqi forces. Despite the concerns, the British forces were determined to do the job, he said. He expressed pleasure for Kuwait’s appreciation of British forces’ contribution to the liberation efforts. – KUNA