By Sherouq Sadeqi
WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (KUNA) -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the "very special" relationship the US and Kuwait share together, affirming that President Donald Trump and His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah "value" this relationship that "benefits the world." This came in a speech Pompeo gave as the Humanitarian Award recipient for his commitment to "safeguarding and promoting peace around the world" at the Kuwait-America Foundation Gala Dinner for UNHCR held at the Kuwait Embassy, which was attended by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence, in addition to top UN officials including Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
In his remarks, the US top diplomat praised Kuwait for its generosity, saying "it is absolute the case that Kuwait's generosity, in helping the refugees in countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq makes Kuwait an example to other nations around the world." "Kuwait doesn't just write the checks... they hold conferences to get others to contribute to these important causes. They mobilize others in the finest tradition of global leadership," he affirmed.
He also highlighted the humanitarian work the US has done around the world, saying "It is who we are as Americans... they exemplify the work that we do with our friends from Kuwait all around the word. It is what America does. It is what Kuwait does. It is what we will keep doing." Pompeo also shed light on his visit to Kuwait last March, saying "it was an amazing experience" and that he had a "great conversation" about the relationship of the two countries, "how we deliver on behalf of our two countries, on behalf of the broader Middle East and behalf of the world together." "We know that our two leaders both value this relationship and that relationship benefits the world as the two of them work for the world together," he remarked.
In an exclusive statement to KUNA, Pompeo praised the bilateral relationship between the US and Kuwait, saying, "These two countries have a long history together and a very special history." He said, "The work that we did together in the early 1990s is something that neither nation will forget and the Kuwaiti people are so wonderful to the people of the United States." He added, "An important part of what President Trump does is to make sure is we do everything we can, for everything we can, for every person who is struggling or in a humanitarian crisis." "So it is a privilege and an honor to receive this award on behalf of the State Department and the Trump Administration indicative of the work we do and the work that Kuwait and America do together to try and take care of those that are in really difficult places," he affirmed.
He stressed, "His Highness the Amir does this humanitarian work out of love for these people and for the world and he has such a deep commitment that has demonstrated over so many years. There are few like him the world and America thanks him and the world should thank him for that." In his speech, Kuwait's Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah affirmed that Kuwait is "proud to be a longstanding supporter of UNHCR." He noted that Kuwait's contributions to the agency have helped provide emergency humanitarian aid and protection to millions of men, women, and children in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
"What we are witnessing today is nothing short of a catastrophe. One that undoubtedly requires the attention and work of all of us," he stressed. He shed light on Kuwait's humanitarian role, saying Kuwait is "a proud leader in humanitarian action, serving as a role model for other countries in its philanthropic activism." He added, "A result of these initiatives and generous support, and in recognition of our leading regional and international philanthropic role, Kuwait has been designated as a "humanitarian hub."" He affirmed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah "exemplifies this commitment." Furthermore, he noted, "In Kuwait, the United States has found an extremely reliable partner in our commitment to peace and security around the world." "As has been the case for decades, our two nations are working hard to resolve disputes throughout the Middle East and to plan for a more secure and prosperous future for our peoples," he remarked.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who also attended the event, spoke about Kuwait and its generosity.
He said Kuwait is a country that he loves and a country that its leader; His Highness the Amir "is a living symbol of wisdom and compassion... being the only personality in the world that the UN has recognized as a humanitarian leader of the world." On her part, the Ambassador's wife, Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah shed light on the refugees' crisis globally, saying, "Sadly, we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, an unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from their homes by violence, war, and persecution." Introducing Secretary of State Pompeo as the 2019 Kuwait-America Foundation Humanitarian Award recipient, Rima Al-Sabah noted that "in the face of one of the most complex foreign policy landscapes in history, his measured, steady leadership has enabled the US to make inroads on a host of critical issues." On his part, Vice President Mike Pence expressed what an "honor" it is for him and his wife to be part again of the Kuwait-America Foundation annual gala dinner, for what he said is "becoming a family tradition." Pence thanked the "incredible leaders" who are so generous for these efforts, saying it is "remarkable to think" of what the KAF has helped raised in the past 13 years for humanitarian causes.
He also thanked Sheikh Salem and his wife Sheikha Rima "for the generosity and the spirit that you reflect in all that you do." The gala dinner was attended by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, as well as Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway and National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien. (end) si.gta