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Region | Palestinian Territories

A ‘new page’ for Kuwait-Palestine relations

Diplomatic mission re-opens after 22-year hiatus

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 15:25 April 16, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: REUTERS
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah walk on the red carpet as they review an honour guard upon Abbas’ arrival in Kuwait on Monday.
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Manama: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the re-opening of the Palestinian embassy in Kuwait was “a historic moment in the deep-rooted relations between the two countries.”

The embassy was opened late on Monday after a 22-year diplomatic hiatus amid pledges by Palestinian and Kuwaiti leaders to boost bilateral relations.

In his speech, Abbas paid rich tribute to Kuwait, saying that it has hosted thousands of Palestinians and that it fully supported the Palestinian issues, Kuwaiti and Palestinian media reported.

“We will always recall that the Palestinian struggle was started here and that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Fateh movement were born and nurtured here thanks to the Kuwaiti rulers and people,” Abbas said.

“This moment is a continuation of this deep-rooted history and we reiterate our thanks and appreciation to His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, his government and people for the opening of the Palestinian embassy in Kuwait.”

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid said that his country was pleased to welcome the Palestinian leader on his first visit to the country since Palestine was granted the non-member observer state status at the United Nations.

“We recall with pride the times we shared with our Palestinian brothers over the past decades, including the establishment of the PLO on this blessed land,” he said. “We look forward to the next visit by President Abbas to Kuwait during which we hope to celebrate Palestine’s full UN membership.”

Kuwaiti parliament Speaker Ali Al Rashed said that relations between Kuwait and Palestine had never been severed and that Kuwait was always ready to support the Palestinians “even during the bleak days of the Iraqi invasion.”

“The Palestinian causes concern all Arabs and so we are pleased to open the Palestinian embassy and to welcome President Mahmood Abbas,” the Speaker said.

At the official round of talks on Monday evening, Abbas bestowed the Quds Medal upon the Emir of Kuwait Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah while the Emir granted the Mubarak Al Kabeer Medal to Abbas.

The Palestinian leader said that Al Quds Medal was in appreciation of Shaikh Sabah’s wisdom and outstanding role in defending Arab causes and in supporting the Palestinian people and defending Occupied Jerusalem and its sacred Islamic sites.

Talks covered bilateral relations, the Palestinian reconciliation, the latest contacts with the US Administration, the latest political developments and the recent Israeli violations of the Islamic and Christian sites in Al Quds, reports in Kuwait City said.

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