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Kuwait hopes meetings held before Arab Summit will boost joint action

ALGIERS: Kuwait hopes that pre-Arab Summit economic and social ministerial talks held on Friday do much to boost joint Arab action, outlining its commitment to efforts that contribute to the decisions that will emanate from the upcoming November 1 major regional talks. Kuwait’s Finance Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Talal Al-Namesh, who headed Kuwait’s delegation at the talks on behalf of the finance minister, said many topics related “joint Arab economic and social work” were discussed.

These included an Arab League Secretary General follow-up of the implementation of the previous recommendations resulting from the 2019 Arab Summit session in Tunis on joint Arab economic, social and development work, requirements for a greater Arab free trade zone and the establishment of an Arab customs union. Namesh mentioned that “the Council thanked the State of Kuwait for the proposal it submitted, regarding the preparation of the Arab strategy for food security”.

It also discussed the support of countries hosting Syrian refugees – to reduce the economic and social burdens as a result, an Arab vision for a digital economy, and a mechanism to address resulting tax challenges, the post-COVID pandemic economic and social recovery, a strategy for the peaceful uses of nuclear power alongside Arab space cooperation and sustainable agricultural development”. Namesh concluded by expressing Kuwait’s hope that these issues contribute to strengthening “joint Arab economic and social action”.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met Saturday with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ preparatory meeting for the 31st Arab League summit in Algiers. During the meeting, the topics in the preparatory ministerial meeting and all items on its agenda were discussed.

Algeria’s foreign ministry praised on Friday Kuwait’s commitment to attending Arab Summit preparatory meetings ahead of the major talks, scheduled on Nov 1 and 2, under the theme of “reunification”. “Algeria salutes the commitment of the sisterly State of Kuwait to actively contribute to the success of the Arab Summit through the arrival of its Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, last night, as the first Arab foreign minister to arrive in Algeria,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Kuwait’s foreign minister will head his country’s delegation participating tomorrow, Saturday, at the preparatory meeting of foreign ministers for the Council of the Arab League at the summit level,” added the Algerian ministry. According to the statement, “Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra will hold a working session with his Kuwaiti counterpart in order to enhance coordination between the two delegations for the success of the ministerial preparatory meeting for the summit.” Kuwait’s political leadership has “fulfilled its promise, as it has committed itself to being the first to arrive in Algeria and the last to depart the summit”, the statement added.

Aboul Gheit, speaking to Arab officials here on Friday, highlighted the need for “joint action” to overcome current global changes that have revealed weaknesses in the economic systems of some Arab countries. “Drought, turbulent population growth and weak agricultural investment, in addition to the climate factor” have all led to a deterioration in Arab food indicators, the Arab League chief said in a keynote speech at the pre-Arab Summit Social and Economic Council attended by Arab trade and commerce ministers.

“The past three years have witnessed difficult events that have resulted in a complex and difficult international situation,” he added, mentioning that the COVID pandemic, in the meantime, has resulted in “high loans, unemployment inflation and disruption to supply and demand”. “These problems concern everyone, from developed to developing countries,” he pointed out, outlining a comprehensive vision based on the mobilization of Arab capabilities to confront these situations.

The Arab League chief called on Arab leaders to “support joint Arab action councils, whether financially or politically,” saying this will allow the region to “overcome difficulties and challenges providing there is an optimal use of resources and energies that are abundant in the region.” He concluded his speech by emphasizing the topic of food security as “among the priorities” that will be “discussed extensively”.

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