EU-Kuwait talks show desire for better ties



Kuwait and the European Union (EU) on Thursday expressed their mutual intention to improve bilateral relations and establish broader cooperation, amid a raging coronavirus pandemic that has taken a massive toll on the global economy.
“The meeting was held in a positive atmosphere, allowing both sides to engage in a strategic review of different aspects of the bilateral relationship, in light of the profound global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” read a joint statement after virtual talks between Kuwaitآ’s Foreign Ministry and the single-currency blocآ’s European External Action Service (EEAS).
A previous deal signed between both sides in 2016, known as the “Cooperation Arrangement,” led to closer cooperation in a number of policy areas, culminating in a new Kuwait-based EU delegation, which the statement called a “milestone highlighting the importance of this partnership.” Touching on happenings in the Gulf region, the EEAS supported Kuwaitآ’s “mediation efforts,” overseen by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, highlighting the “dialogue-based” approach the country promotes in the region.
The discussions also covered regional and international issues of common concern, including the situations in Yemen, Syria and Libya, in addition the to the Middle East conflict and long-standing reforms in Iraq, the statement added.
The statement highlighted the issue of human rights as a focal point of the discussions, citing previous talks over the matter held between both sides earlier this year, which also included the subject of womenآ’s empowerment, it said.
Featuring high on the agenda was the coronavirus pandemic, with Kuwait and the EU reiterating the importance of “joint efforts,” in facing the challenges posed by the spread of the disease, two months after EU-hosted talks raised over 9 billion euros for “universal access” to potential vaccines.
The EU recognized Kuwaitآ’s “rapid response,” in offering aid to other countries badly hit by the pandemic, with both sides agreeing to work closely together on a “Covid-19 response,” besides ensuring that humanitarian aid is delivered to countries in need, ahead of similar talks planned for next year.
Kuwaitآ’s delegation was led by its Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs Waleed Al-Khubaizi, while the EUآ’s Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa Fernando Gentilini was in charge of his side.


Source: Kuwait News Agency