Kuwait’s Jasem Al Budaiwi appointed GCC Secretary General

He replaces his countryman Nayef Al Hajraf, whose term is coming to an end

Jasem Al Budaiwi has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the Gulf Co-operation Council. Photo: Kuwait embassy to the US
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Jasem Al Budaiwi, Kuwait’s ambassador to the US, has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the Gulf Co-operation Council, succeeding Nayef Al Hajraf whose term ends on Tuesday.

The GCC said Mr Al Hajraf welcomed the new secretary general and “wished him success”.

Mr Al Hajraf, who took office on February 1, 2020, was previously Kuwait's minister of finance.

Mr Al Budaiwi, who will take up his new post on Wednesday, began his diplomatic career with Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 as diplomatic attache in the office of the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.

He was posted to Kuwait’s US embassy in June 2001, where he was promoted to first secretary in 2004, counsellor in 2007 and deputy chief of mission in October 2011.

He was appointed ambassador to Korea in 2013 and served in the post until 2016.

He then served as Kuwait’s ambassador to Belgium and head of mission to Nato until last year, when he was appointed ambassador to the US.

In December, leaders of the GCC agreed that Kuwait should retain the position of secretary general of the council for a second consecutive term during their annual summit in Riyadh.

Mr Al Budaiwi will be the GCC's third secretary general from Kuwait after Mr Al Hajraf and Abdullah Yaqoub Bishara, who was the first person to hold the post after the council was established. Mr Bishara’s tenure was to last 11 years, making him the longest-serving chief among the six to have held the position.

Mr Al Hajraf has been making farewell visits to GCC states in recent weeks and meeting their leaders and foreign ministers.

The GCC was established in 1981 to promote economic, security, cultural and social co-operation between its six member states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The countries hold a summit every year.

The GCC’s Supreme Council is made up of the heads of the member states.

UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, hosted the council's first meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 25 and 26, 1981.

Updated: February 01, 2023, 10:37 AM