Egypt-Kuwait talks focus on bilateral relations, Arab summit and challenges

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Kuwait on February 22 where he held talks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al -Sabah, as well as with officials.

Discussions focused on ways to successfully organize an Arab League summit in Algeria in the last quarter of 2022 and strengthen Egyptian-Kuwaiti relations in all areas, among other issues.

Sisi’s visit to Kuwait is part of his efforts to strengthen ties with member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which have played a key role over the past period in resolving the Gulf Crisis – which pitted Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt against Qatar – which led to the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration in January 2021.

According to a statement by Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi, Sisi stressed during his visit “Egypt’s concern to preserve the stability and security of Kuwait and all Gulf States in the face of internal and regional challenges. . The security of GCC states is an integral part of Egyptian national security.

During their meeting, Sisi and Sheikh Nawaf discussed ways to improve the deep-rooted bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries in various fields and strengthen cooperation in the areas of investment and economy in the period. coming soon, Radi said.

The emir said to Sisi: “The Egyptians are our brothers and their positions [in support of] Kuwait is unforgettable. The Egyptian people have always supported the Kuwaitis. The blood of the two peoples has mingled.

The meeting also discussed a number of Arab and regional issues of common interest, as well as ways to develop Egyptian-Kuwaiti cooperation in light of the 13th session of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Joint Ministerial Committee to be held soon in Cairo and the next meeting of the joint consular commission between the two countries.

According to Radi’s statement, Kuwait is committed to increasing investment in Egypt and exploiting the opportunities there. The Emir of Kuwait praised Cairo’s role in consolidating the mechanisms of joint Arab action in the face of current crises and challenges in the region.

Sisi, meanwhile, reiterated Egypt’s commitment to strengthening and diversifying joint bilateral cooperation frameworks in the political, security, economic and trade fields, Radi added.

The Emir of Kuwait expressed his gratitude for Egypt’s support to Kuwait’s affairs at all levels and for the contribution of the Egyptian community to the fields of construction and development in Kuwait.

During his meeting with Sisi, Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal praised the ongoing consultations with Egypt on various issues and called Egypt’s role a cornerstone in preserving Arab security and solidarity between the Arab States.

Mishal said Kuwait wishes to strengthen cooperation with Egypt at all levels, praising the contribution of the Egyptian community to the construction and development of his country.

Welcoming the Egyptian leader, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah affirmed his country’s willingness to elevate cooperation with Egypt to the level of a strategic partnership in order to benefit both countries, as cornerstone for maintaining regional security and stability and restoring balance. to the region.

Sisi, in turn, praised the deep-rooted and historical ties between the two countries at the official and popular levels, reiterating Egypt’s aspiration to advance cooperation with Kuwait to achieve a sustainable framework of economic integration. and strategic collaboration, in light of the enormous challenges. , and the security, social and economic crises facing the region.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ambassador to Kuwait Osama Shaltout said at a press conference on February 23 that Sisi’s visit to Kuwait at this time reflects the depth of the strong historical relations between the two countries and comes as a congratulation. the leaders, government and people of Kuwait on the occasion of the National Day. and the anniversary of Liberation Day.

He said the cordial dialogue between Sisi and the Emir of Kuwait showed the deep-rooted brotherly ties between the two countries, underscoring the keenness of the two leaders to promote permanent coordination on common issues.

The talks Sisi held with Kuwaiti officials also focused on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and touched on a number of regional and international issues that concern the two countries, Shaltout noted.

He said that Kuwaiti investments in Egypt are diversified. According to him, they reached about 15 billion dollars in the areas of the stock market, real estate, banking, oil, services and fertilizers. He revealed that Kuwait ranks third among Arab countries and fifth in the world in terms of investment volume in Egypt.

He added that the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Business Council and the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries were to organize an Egyptian-Kuwaiti investment forum in Cairo in May to discuss the possibility of boosting investment and trade. between the two parties. the directives of the leaders of the rhw countries.

Over the past 10 years, Kuwaiti investors have been major contributors to many major projects in Egypt. Meanwhile, Sisi has ordered relevant parties to support economic relations with Kuwait, which has helped boost Egyptian exports to Kuwait to high rates of 20% in the past year alone.

In statements to the Ahram Gate website on February 22, former Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Orabi said Sisi’s visit to Kuwait was aimed at paving the way for the success of the upcoming Arab League summit.

Orabi said the visit comes in the context of the positive steps taken by Cairo and Kuwait on the Arab scene to contain inter-Arab differences, to build a future phase of joint Arab action based on strengthening cooperation and the achievement of sustainable development for all Arabs.

Kuwait, along with other Arab countries, is supporting Egypt in its Nile water rights as Cairo faces a water crisis due to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Cairo, meanwhile, has repeatedly stressed its support for safeguarding the security and stability of GCC states against threats posed by Yemen’s Houthi group and others.

Additionally, Kuwait’s public sector investment in Egypt reached $5.4 billion last year, while the country’s private sector investment exceeded $10 billion during the same period.

Additionally, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune arrived in Kuwait on February 22 and held talks with the Kuwaiti Emir on regional issues.

The two leaders reviewed the latest developments in the Arab world and stressed the need to redouble efforts to promote joint Arab action to overcome the common challenges facing Arab countries.

Kuwait’s political leaders said they appreciated Tebboune’s efforts for the success of the upcoming Arab League summit, expressing their full support and willingness to contribute to this endeavor with the aim of achieving results that meet the aspirations Arab peoples, according to a joint statement released after the meeting.

Given their common interest in peace and development, particularly in Africa, and their keenness to strengthen the Arab-African partnership, the two parties agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation between the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development Arabic and the Algerian Agency for International Cooperation. Solidarity and Development to support development projects in African countries, particularly in the Sahelian and Saharan regions.

The two parties also agreed to enhance investment opportunities and share expertise in various fields.

Regarding preparations for the Arab League summit, Egypt, Algeria and Kuwait are keen to coordinate their positions to make a successful summit, according to the statement.

“Egypt and Algeria play a big role in the region. The leaders of the two countries have come to Kuwait to discuss with the Emir some topics regarding the upcoming Arab League summit as the Emir of Kuwait has carried out successful mediation efforts in the Gulf crisis which ended by signing the Al-Ula declaration,” said Abdullah al-Ghaim, professor of political science at Kuwait University.

He told Al-Monitor by phone: “There is a need to settle the conflicts in troubled Arab countries and begin a period of stability to meet the aspirations of their peoples. It takes time but can be achieved over time.

Egypt recently restored its central regional role after restoring its stability, he noted. Thus, it can make paramount efforts, together with Kuwait, the GCC member states and Algeria, to reconcile views on key issues such as Palestinian reconciliation and Syria’s return to the Arab League, between others.

Successful investment from Kuwait and all GCC member states in Egypt will help the country attract new foreign funding from around the world. This will be in favor of the Egyptian country, he claimed.

Both sides – Egypt and the GCC states – should continue coordination and consultation in the near future to deal with regional challenges and crises, he said.

Ghaim expressed his disappointment with the situation in Yemen, Libya and Iraq, pinning his hopes on the status and role of Egypt, Algeria and GCC member states in helping those countries recover.

Finally, he described Sisi’s visit to Kuwait as “successful” on several levels, mainly on the economic and coordination levels.