By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: Admiral Commander of the French Forces in the Indian Ocean and the United Arab Emirates Emmanuel Slaars affirmed France’s unwavering commitment to the security of Kuwait and the region. Slaars’ statement came in a press conference on the eve of the conclusion of the “Pearl of the West 2022” exercise in Kuwait held by the Kuwait armed forces and the National Guard with friendly French forces.
Slaars, who is also the commander of the French forces in the United Arab Emirates, said 85 percent of the French forces in the UAE participated in Pearl of the West 2022 and that more than 500 French soldiers in the region are also participating in this exercise, noting it included air and sea exercises, diving exercises and other military exercises. The admiral explained that the role of the French navy in the region includes combating piracy, human trafficking, and drugs and arms smuggling.
French Ambassador to Kuwait Claire Le Fleischer stressed that the Pearl of the West 2022 exercise comes within France’s commitment to peace and security in the region and its defense. “France is showing its ability to remain committed to its allies and partners, not only within the borders of NATO, but also here in Kuwait,” she said, pointing out that it is possible to strategically rely on France.
Le Fleischer noted that the governments of France and Kuwait signed a bilateral defense cooperation agreement in 1992 aimed at developing cooperation between the two countries to deter any threat and defeat any attack on Kuwait’s security, sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with the United Nations charter and international treaties.
Meanwhile, Chief of the General Staff of Kuwait Army Lt Gen Khaled Saleh Al-Sabah discussed with Slaars military ties and defense cooperation. He received Slaars at the general staff building on Wednesday, where they exchanged cordial conversations and discussed the most vital matters and topics of common interest, the general staff said in a press statement. During the meeting, the chief of staff acclaimed the depth of bilateral ties between both sides, it added.