By Alina L Romanowski, US Ambassador to Kuwait
On behalf of the US Embassy, I would like to congratulate His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people on the occasion of Kuwait’s 61st National Day and 31st Liberation Day. As we mark Kuwait’s liberation 31 years after the Iraqi invasion, the Kuwaiti people know too well the consequences of an unprovoked and unjustified invasion to its people, sovereignty, and way of life.
Nearly 700,000 US troops took part in the war in 1991, and many lives were sacrificed in the fight for Kuwait’s freedom, including those of nearly 300 American soldiers and over 900 Kuwaiti nationals. Today, we remember and honor those who fought side by side, and we recognize Kuwait as a proud and indispensable American ally. The liberation of Kuwait showed how the world came together to restore freedom and justice.
With the United States in the lead, the international community came together to build the largest coalition and military alliance since World War II. We were united in our support for Kuwait; we were united in our opposition to Saddam Hussein’s aggression; and we were united in our resolve to defend our international system, the principles of the United Nations Charter, and our most fundamental principles of sovereignty, diplomacy, and territorial integrity. In the 31 years since liberation, the relationship between the United States and Kuwait has become about much more than security and defense matters. Kuwait has re-emerged as an important force for stability in the Middle East. During the 5th US – Kuwait Strategic Dialogue last month, Secretary Blinken highlighted the full force of Kuwait’s statesmanship and how its mediation efforts have supported conflict resolution in Yemen and Lebanon, reduced the threat of ISIS, and helped heal the Gulf rift. The partnership between the United States and Kuwait also grew into robust trade, investment, education and cultural exchanges, and collaboration on humanitarian issues.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of America in 2005, Kuwait pledged $500 million in aid to US relief efforts, the single largest donation of its kind at the time. Americans appreciated Kuwait’s generosity during our time of crisis. More recently, when it came time to end the war in Afghanistan, Kuwait stood with the United States, helping us evacuate thousands of people – American citizens, foreign nationals, Afghans – providing flights, medical care, clothing, and even toys for children. Because of Kuwait’s generosity, thousands of people were safely transported out of Afghanistan and Afghan families have been able to start new lives around the world.
I’m proud of the milestones our two countries have achieved together in our over 60-year partnership. The longstanding history between America and Kuwait is the foundation of the lasting friendship we enjoy today and for many years to come.