Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, on the importance of addressing regional security within the GCC: Viewpoint

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah

Kuwait’s security is an integral part of the security system of the GCC, and any threat targeting the security of one of the GCC countries will be treated as a threat to the security of Kuwait and to the rest of the GCC countries. We reject threats and cooperate to defeat them. This was reflected in practice when Kuwait suffered brutal aggression and occupation in 1990, and this was clearly emphasised recently in our response to the appearance of danger and threats to the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The course of the GCC, and what its member countries have achieved throughout our history, at both regional and international levels of cooperation, is impressive, but we must continue to adhere to and work together to strengthen an Arab consensus.

The drop in the price of oil has had a profound effect on the world, reaching far beyond our shores. Closer to home we have experienced decreases in revenues coming from the oil and gas sectors. We must adopt a new approach, and recalibrate our expenditures in the light of these lowered revenues, while making certain to continue to invest in Kuwaiti human capital development. It is in our citizens that the real value of Kuwait is reflected. We must continue to foster stability, progress and development so that we can achieve sustainable long-term economic growth, in spite of the challenging times we currently face. We must not turn a blind eye to the economic realities. While public spending has continued uninterrupted, a new approach is necessary to correlate spending within our means so that it is commensurate to our current revenue levels. Continuing down the path we are currently on will limit the prospects and the ambitions of future generations.

Therefore it is necessary to carry out and implement urgent economic reforms to achieve our o bjectives of cutting the state balance sheet, and making a rational move towards a newer, more dynamic economy, driven in part by the private sector. Given the multitude of dimensions of the economic crisis we face, I must remind the parliament that as representatives to our governments, we must lead these reforms with fearlessness, and implement them with boldness. We must take advantage of these times to seek greater economic harmony at home and in the region. Let us use this opportunity to balance our economies and reinforce to the world our capabilities in addressing these problems with diligence and professionalism.

I also call on every citizen to realise the importance of the reforms at hand and to understand the reasons for their implementation: we must look beyond the short and medium term, towards the long-term health of our country, and for that of the future generations. We must seek consistency and responsible management, and serve as an example to future leaders across not only Kuwait, but the wider region.

I am confident that these measures will be well received, and that the willingness of all member countries to adopt them will see them better off and more powerful in the future.

We must continue to march in stride together to a more prosperous tomorrow where the embodiment of this council resonates with all members. We must strive to work in cooperation and to increase the competitiveness of our people on a global scale, enhancing our achievements and providing solutions not just for our own people, but for the wider planet.

The confidence that both the people of Kuwait and myself hold in the parliament is great. You are undoubtedly eager to overcome the present challenges we face as brethren, and more, to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of our loyal people for years to come. We must continue to serve the homeland. Here is where our loyalties lie above all else. So make sure to protect and maintain national security, together in cooperation. We must also keep the doors open to those that wish to strive to succeed in a new economy.

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Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah

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