Saudi Arabia and Kuwait boost ties to counter Iranian threats

Saudi-Kuwaiti Co-operation Council expected to be launched soon

Kuwait's Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah is received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Riyadh. Reuters
Kuwait's Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah is received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Riyadh. Reuters

Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week strengthened political ties between the two Gulf states, Saudi officials said on Wednesday.

During his first visit to Riyadh on Tuesday, Sheikh Meshaal met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss relations between their countries as well as international efforts to enhance security and stability in the region, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency Spa said.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, attended the meeting and said that Sheikh Meshaal's visit would help to counter Iran, with US support.

“The kingdom and Kuwait are going to enhance their joint co-ordination on Iranian threats in the region with the support of the new US administration that would continue to impose economic sanctions and an arms embargo,” he said.

Relations between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are based on historical ties “characterised by mutual respect and good principles as well as the work of a joint co-ordination on many political issues to serve their interests”, he said.

The two states are working on establishing a Saudi-Kuwaiti Co-ordination Council, which is expected to hold its first meeting soon, Prince Faisal said.

Confronting the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is also a priority. Prince Faisal said "there has been permanent, direct and continuous co-ordination between the health ministers of the two countries".

The two states are also seeking closer economic ties.

Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. AFP Photo / HO / Spa
Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. AFP Photo / HO / Spa

It is in Saudi Arabia's interests "to stabilise Kuwait's markets", Prince Faisal said.

"We've supported Kuwait by exporting Saudi products to its markets," he said.

He praised Kuwait for supporting the initiative, set out by Prince Mohammed, to create a "Green Middle East".

"This will have positive repercussions not only in the kingdom but also in the state of Kuwait," Prince Faisal said.

The announcements were welcomed by Kuwait's Cabinet.

Nayef Al Hajraf, secretary general of the Gulf Co-operation Council, said Sheikh Meshaal's visit to Riyadh reflected the deep-rooted historical ties between the two countries.

“The visit of Sheikh Meshaal, Crown Prince of Kuwait, to Riyadh on his first official foreign visit, as a dear guest of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has noble meanings that reflect the kingdom’s position with Kuwait, its leadership and people,” Mr Al Hajraf said.

Updated: June 2, 2021 05:13 PM

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