KUN0009 4 GEN 0311 FRANCE /AFP -SKZ7 POL-UN-KUWAIT-BELIZE Kuwait, Belize establish diplomatic relations, promote cooperation UNITED NATIONS, May 9 (KUNA) -- The State of Kuwait and Belize on Monday agreed to establish diplomatic relations at Ambassadorial level out of their desire to develop friendly relations and to promote cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other mutual interests. Kuwaiti Ambassador Nabeela Al-Mulla and Belizean Charge d'Affaires Janine Elizabeth Coye-Felson signed the agreement at the Kuwait Mission to the UN. In a joint communiqu{, both officials said they were "convinced that the establishing of diplomatic relations corresponds with the national interests of both countries and will contribute to the consolidation of cooperation and peace in the world." Both sides also sent a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan to inform him of their decision and to request that the information be transmitted to other member states. Following the ceremony, Ambassador Al-Mulla told KUNA and Kuwait TV that she was very pleased and proud of this development. She said the history of the Kuwaiti-Belizean relationship goes back to the seventies when Kuwait used to present to the UN the draft resolution calling for the independence of the Central American country from the Brits. She said that the relationship between the two countries also continued through the Kuwaiti Fund for economic development which would assist small developing countries, like Belize, to build their infrastructure. "We are very pleased that the government of Belize has established diplomatic relations with Kuwait. We have had long-standing relations with Kuwait from the initial stages when Belize was first a non self-governing territory. Kuwait was very helpful in pushing forward our interest within the UN," Coye-Felson said. She added "we even had more recent relations with Kuwait in terms of cooperation and development. We have expanded within the southern region of our country a road system. The development of infrastructure is something we can attribute to the help of Kuwait. "We think that this establishment of diplomatic relations will strengthen our relations, not only with Kuwait but within the Middle East, where Belize is continuing to expand its diplomatic relations," she noted. She explained that "we do have a community from Lebanon and Palestine," recalling that Belize's current Prime Minister Said Musa is of Palestinian origin. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Belize supported the UN Security Council resolutions imposing economic and trade sanctions against Iraq and authorizing the use of force to liberate Kuwait. In supporting the UN resolutions, Belize stressed its own interest in seeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of small, vulnerable states protected. Although it favored peaceful, diplomatic, and political solutions to the crisis, it regarded the use of force by the United States-led coalition to be consistent with those resolutions. Belize is located on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America, with Mexico and Guatemala as neighbors. It has a population of about 200,000 people. Although a number of economically important minerals, including gold, exist in Belize, none has been found in quantities large enough to warrant mining. In 1990 limestone, used in road-building, was the only mineral resource being exploited for either domestic or export use.(end) sj.wsa