The first Senior Officials Meeting between the European Union and the State of Kuwait was held in Brussels today, co-chaired by Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Helga Schmid, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Khalid Aljarallah. The meeting saw both sides engaging in a strategic review of bilateral relations and was the opportunity to further develop political dialogue and to explore areas for more intense sectoral cooperation between the EU and Kuwait.
The Meeting launched the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement between the European External Action Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait which had been signed in 2016. The Arrangement provides a framework to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest. It marks a new chapter in this important relationship, particularly when combined with the EU’s declared intention of opening a Delegation in Kuwait City, foreseen for 2019.
Political consultations covered the situation in the Gulf, with the EU commending and supporting the continued Kuwaiti mediation efforts led by His Highness the Emir as well as the overall moderating and non-confrontational approach that Kuwait plays in the region. The two sides also discussed common regional challenges, including the situation in Yemen, Syria, Libya and the obstacles facing the Middle East Peace Process.
Both sides reiterated their appreciation for the co-chairing of several important international events, such as the Brussels Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region,, the Kuwait International Conference on the reconstruction of Iraq or the International Conference Plight of the Rohingya. They also welcomed the latest political process in Iraq, highlighting the positive outcome of it.
The exchanges also sought ways to enhance sectoral coordination and cooperation, with the EU and Kuwait welcoming prospects for closer interaction in the fields of energy, development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, and security and counter-terrorism. In the field of energy, clean and renewable energy were at the core of discussions. The importance of the EU-GCC clean energy network as a tool to foster further cooperation in clean energy, technology, and policies was underlined. The two sides also exchanged information on their respective work in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, in particular in the Middle East and Africa, discussing concrete areas of possible cooperation. Both sides stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in the fields of security and counter-terrorism. Cooperation on a number of issues like exchange of information, fight against terrorism (including financing of terrorism) and cyber security were discussed.
EU-Kuwait Senior Officials Meetings will be held annually with the next meeting taking place in 2019 in Kuwait.