a prominent European Parliament member praised Kuwait’s role in mediating disputes and promoting reconciliation in parallel with its humanitarian efforts to provide relief aid and support other countries in overcoming the repercussions of the pandemic virus (Corona Novel – Covid 19).
The head of the delegation of relations with the Arabian Peninsula and the deputy head of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament, Hanna Newman, said in an interview with Kuwait News Agency that the State of Kuwait plays an important role in defusing tension and promoting dialogue and reconciliation in the Arab Gulf region.
Humanitarian efforts
She also referred to the humanitarian efforts of Kuwait, which culminated in the granting by the United Nations of His Highness the Emir of Sheikh Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad the title of (Leader of Humanitarian Action) and the country’s designation (Center for Humanitarian Action), saying, “I fully appreciate the important humanitarian contributions that Kuwait makes.”
She also expressed appreciation for the initiative of the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Belgium and the head of its missions to the European Union and NATO (NATO) Jassem Al-Bedawi regarding hosting a business lunch in her honor with the Arab Gulf ambassadors residing in Brussels at his residence in the Belgian capital last Saturday.
“In the pandemic times, we all need to find alternative ways to do our work … Supporting the activities of the delegation is essential to me and therefore I fully appreciate the initiative of the Bedouin ambassador,” added the deputy, who belongs to the German Green Party.
She pointed out that the meeting included representatives from all the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in addition to Yemen “around one table to hold a very useful and constructive discussion on issues of common concern … Given the continuing differences in the region, this in itself is an important signal.”
Schengen visa
On the issue of raising the Schengen visa to the European Union for Kuwaiti citizens, she said, “I fully understand the position of the State of Kuwait and its legitimate claim regarding exempting its citizens from obtaining the visa when entering the (Schengen) region.”
“I have already discussed this problem with the European External Action Authority at a previous meeting and I intend to continue to follow this important issue and to promote more in-depth exchange of views with all parties concerned, including the Gulf Cooperation Council diplomats, the European Commission and Council representatives,” she added.
Newman stressed that cooperation between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in combating the Corona pandemic “is very beneficial to both parties,” noting that “the exchange of information and good practices has allowed a better understanding of the Covid 19 virus and limiting its spread.”
She said, “The European Union granted aid to Yemen and Iraq with the aim of enabling them to better deal with emergency situations. Likewise, some of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Kuwait, have been very active and generous in helping neighboring countries severely affected by the pandemic.”
She also pointed out that “the medical assistance to some European Union member states in the darkest weeks of the pandemic was very beneficial and fruitful.”
“I think in the long run that we can really learn from each other’s experiences and be better prepared for future crises and also when it comes to protecting democracy and human rights during epidemic periods,” she said.