— A five-member delegation from the European Parliament begins a visit to Kuwait on Tuesday with the aim of deepening EU-Kuwait partnership high on their agenda.
“On both sides, I sense a strong interest and will to strengthening our partnership, and I very much look forward to doing so,” Member of the European Parliament Sven Simon, who will lead the EP delegation, told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) in an interview in Brussels.
He pointed out the EU and Kuwait “share many vital common interests such as promoting regional stability and respect of universal human rights, as well as developing joint and coordinated responses to global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, extremism, and terrorism.” “I regard my upcoming visit as an excellent opportunity to discussing all of these issues,” said the German MEP.
The five MEPs who are members of the EP’s Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP) will be in Kuwait from November 2-5 to take part in the 10th EP-Kuwait inter parliamentary meeting.
“As the region’s only elected parliament with substantive legislative powers, the EU views the Kuwait parliament as a vital partner in the Gulf region, and I look forward to strengthening our parliamentary ties during the upcoming visit,” stressed the young 43-year-old EU parliamentarian.
“Kuwait’s commitment to enhance cooperation with the EU at a political level is of great value to me. As a member of the European Parliament, I am particularly excited about the prospect of deepening the cooperation between our parliaments,” he said.
Simon, however, lamented, “Despite the relatively high number of women running in the 2020 general elections, no women were elected to Kuwait parliament.” “Human rights are at the heart of the EP’s parliamentary diplomacy with all its partners, all over the world, and we see the upcoming inter-parliamentary meeting as an opportunity to discuss this topic, in an open-minded and constructive way,” he said.
The lead MEP underlined that “Kuwait plays a crucial role in promoting security, stability, and development in the Gulf region and in the Middle East as a whole”.
“I reiterate the EU’s appreciation and continued support for the mediation efforts of Kuwait in several regional conflicts (e.g. the recent diplomatic crisis in the Gulf and Yemen) and commend the country’s humanitarian assistance programme and in particular its efforts to help in the reconstruction of Iraq,” he said.
“Kuwait’s mediation efforts between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and work towards the cessation of hostilities and develop a sustainable political solution to the conflict in Yemen also deserve credit,” he stated.
He warmly welcomed the opening in 2019 of a new EU Delegation in Kuwait, saying it may help further strengthening the already excellent bilateral political and commercial relations between the EU and the State of Kuwait.
Simon said the modernization of Kuwait’s economy, as set in the “Kuwait Vision 2035”, would only benefit from a more dynamic external sector and a better insertion in world trade patterns.
“In this regard, I welcome the recent discussions aiming at reopening trade talks between the EU and the GCC. An ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union is certainly instrumental to reach the goals of a modern and more diversified economic sector as set up in this vision,” he told KUNA.
During the visit, the EP delegation will also explore opportunities for EU-Kuwait cooperation on the global green and digital transition in a post-pandemic context, said Simon who is also a member of the EP’s Committees on International Trade and Constitutional Affairs.
The other four MEP’s on the visit to Kuwait are Ismail Ertug from Germany, Jose Ramon Bauza Diaz from Spain, Dian Riba Giner from Spain and Ryszard Czarnecki from Poland.
The EP Delegation will also visit Bahrain before their trip to Kuwait.
Source: Kuwait News Agency