The High Representative Federica Mogherini opened on Sunday a new European Union Delegation in Kuwait, the third in the Gulf. The High Representative visited Iraq on Saturday.
“This Delegation increases our presence in the region and, most of all, it is the strongest possible symbol of our friendship with Kuwait,” Mogherini said.
Over the years, Kuwait and the European Union found themselves working “on the same side of history” - as the High Representative said - “on the side of peace and mediation”, and naturally grew closer.
“In a moment of regional and global tensions, Kuwait is a voice of wisdom and a force for peace. And this is what has made us natural partners in these difficult times”, Mogherini said. “You have taken upon you the role of mediator and peacebuilder - bridge builder. And this requires always a lot of courage and even more so in these difficult times.”
Kuwait and the European Union have taken upon a role of mediator and peacebuilder, especially for the peace in Yemen and within the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The cooperation extends to help the UN Agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, overcome its funding crisis, while the EU and Kuwait co-chaired the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq in February last year. In Baghdad on Saturday, the High Representative noted how the support of the international community helped Iraq be more stable.
“We have been among the strongest supporters of Syrian refugees across the region, and of the Yemeni people in the middle of a dramatic humanitarian situation”, Mogherini reminded the audience.
As partners, Kuwait and the European Union also share an interest in stopping the current regional escalation.
The new Delegation will be the third Embassy in the Gulf after Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, and it will also be responsible for the moment, for the EU relations with Qatar. The High Representative said she believes the opening sends a message to the whole region: “the European Union is increasing its presence and its engagement in the Middle East and the Gulf - because we are neighbours, we share the same region and we are tied to one another.”
What happens in the Gulf matters to Europe, and what happens in Europe matters to the Gulf, Mogherini said.
“We share the same views and the same approach on this, our common region does not need another confrontation, another conflict, or another war. We do not need a nuclear arms race. We need rationality. We need to preserve what was built in years of negotiations and build on it, instead of opening new fronts” the High Representative said.
The opening of the Delegation marks, as such, both the culmination of years of cooperation and a new beginning of an even closer partnership.