17th January, 2010, Raymond Chickrie reporting:- The visiting Guyana delegation led by President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo arrived to a red carpet welcome in Kuwait City. The flags of Kuwait and Guyana flew across the city to honour the visiting guests. His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s leader received President Jagdeo at the airport. Also in the airport greeting party were the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Speaker of Kuwaiti National Assembly Jassem Muhammed Al-Kharafi, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, top state officials and top commanders of army, police and national guard.
President Jagdeo and the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah held official talks at al Bayan Palace. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, from the global financial crisis, food and security; cultural and economic cooperation, to the conflicts in the Middle East. Kuwait and Guyana signed here two cooperation agreements and one MoU on the sidelines of the official talks co-chaired by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah signed an MoU on political consultations with Guyana counterpart Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett. Minister of Oil and Minister of Information Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah signed an agreement to bolster cultural ties with Minister Rodrigues-Birkett. Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shimali also signed an agreement on encouraging bilateral investments with Minister Rodrigues-Birkett.
These three agreements usher in a new phase in Guyana/Kuwaiti relationship and especially after the Amir of Kuwaiti disclosed in a meeting with the Guyanese leader the appointment of an ambassador to Guyana who will follow up on bilateral ties. Kuwait also agreed to send a high-level delegation to visit Guyana for follow up on talks between the two leaders. The opportunity presented for improved Kuwait/Guyana relations cannot be under estimated and would require follow up on these agreements to ensure that its well meaning objectives are met to the mutual benefit of both countries.
The Guyanese head of state met later in the day with the First Vice President of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hilal Meshari Al-Mutairi and members of the chamber of Commerce. With the aim of bringing new Kuwaiti investments to Guyana, Jagdeo also met with managing Director of the Public Investment Authority, Mr. Bader Mohammad Al-Saad, and Hisham Al-Wugayana, the Deputy Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).
President Jagdeo also held meetings with Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait, Jassem Al-Kharafi, and acting Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Guyana, a former British colony and South America’s only English speaking country is inhabited by less than a million people, and is culturally linked to the Middle East. Guyana has a vibrant Muslim population of about 12 percent. Since independence from Great Britain in 1966, Guyana has forged close ties with the Middle. Guyana is also member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) which has led to stronger ties with Islamic Countries. President Jagdeo is keen to cement these ties with the Islamic World, one of the reasons why he is visiting Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran during this tour. President Bharrat Jagdeo leaves Kuwait tomorrow evening for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).