Today we learnt with sadness of the passing of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad al-Sabah, late Emir of the State of Kuwait. We would like to express our deepest condolences to his family, to the people and to the Government of Kuwait. Under His Highness's leadership, widely regarded as the architect of modern Kuwait's foreign policy, Kuwait assumed the role of a respected international partner and regional mediator. His vision steered a foreign policy that placed Kuwait among the European Union's close partners. The European Union has been a staunch supporter of the indefatigable efforts of His Highness to promote dialogue towards the settlement of disputes in the Gulf region. His Highness's dedication to humanitarian relief worldwide have earned him much deserved recognition as a global humanitarian leader. His loss will be mourned for years to come. The European Union will continue to work towards consolidating a strong and enduring partnership with the State of Kuwait and its people.