Kuwaiti sheikh's visit to Iran positive
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad is cited as calling Iran's Supreme Guide Khamenei as the “guide of the entire region” (AFP/ File)
Kuwait and Iran have warmly welcomed the outcome of a two-day state visit by the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, stressing it was successful.
Sheikh Sabah made his first state visit to neighbouring Iran since he became leader in 2006 amid high expectations that the landmark trip would help ease strained relations between the two shores of the Arabian Gulf. Sheikh Sabah had talks with Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani and oversaw bilateral agreements.
Reports in the Iranian capital Tehran said that Sheikh Sabah and Khamenei had a private meeting of one hour before they were joined by their delegations. Although no information has been leaked about the issues taken up by the two leaders, reports mentioned that the topics of the ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the developments in Syria were discussed. Khamenei stressed that the security of the Gulf was closely linked to sane and good relations between the countries and that Iran was keen on positive ties with its neighbours.
The Iranian leader insisted that divergences between the Gulf countries were welcomed by their common enemies, London-based Al Hayet reported on Tuesday. He added that Iran had dealt openly with the differences in the Gulf and stressed that Tehran stood by Kuwait during the critical years. The emir said that he was confident the visit would elevate cooperation and ties between Kuwait and Iran to new heights that would serve the higher interests of the two nations.
Kuwaiti media reported that the talks with Khamenei were held “within an atmosphere that reflected a spirit of friendship, outstanding and deep relations and keen interest in consolidating cooperation.” Khamenei called for a new page in the economic relations between the two countries and underscored that developing ties between Kuwait and Iraq would serve the interests of the region.The communiqué issued at the end of the visit referred to “the positive outcome of the visit considered an important landmark in the relations between the two countries.”
The Fars and Mahr news agencies cited the emir as saying that Khamenei, who is the Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic, is also the “guide of the entire region”. Kuwaiti sources made no mention of the statement, but it quickly circulated on social media, leading to a number of mocking responses.
Kuwait is keen on contacts with Iran to reach an agreement in all the issues of concern to the region, especially that Iran is one of the pillars of security and stability in the area, Sheikh Sabah said, Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported. Iran and Kuwait called for continuing consultations to confront challenges, settle issues in the region and ease concerns about security and stability. They also stressed the need to reinforce moderation and rationality and help make the world free of violence and extremism. In his statement, Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid, the foreign minister, said in Tehran where he accompanied the emir that it was significant to have “normal relations” between the countries in the region and Iran.
In the Saudi capital Riyadh, the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) welcomed Sheikh Sabah’s “important and historic” visit to Iran. The ministers, in a statement following their one-day meeting, hoped the visit would have “positive” impact on relations between the six-member GCC and Iran, Kuna said. The GCC countries hoped negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group would achieve a final resolution to the Iranian nuclear file, which would guarantee Tehran’s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in line with relevant IAEA’s criteria.
The foreign ministers also rejected all forms of terrorism and extremism regardless of their motives and sources as well as Iran’s occupation of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Moussa, the three islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates.They reiterated their support to UAE’s sovereignty over the three islands and their territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and economic zone, the statement said.