President David Granger (C) in discussion with Kuwait Ambassador Ayadah Alsaidi (R) as Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge looks on
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- While political ties between Guyana and Kuwait are strong, economic and trade relations are "not as strong as they could be," Kuwait's non-resident ambassador to Guyana, Ayadah Alsaidi, told the president of Guyana, David Granger, on Wednesday, during his accreditation ceremony in Georgetown.
During his meeting with Granger, the Kuwait envoy said that Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait is committed to working to strengthen relations between Guyana and his country.
Alsaidi committed himself to strengthen ties in the areas of trade and investment. Kuwait, he said, would welcome proposals for projects that could benefit the people of Guyana.
In his remarks, Granger said that Guyana and Kuwait will find "practical ways of moving their collaboration further."
He noted, "Your accreditation takes place at a time of economic transformation for both our countries, albeit at different levels. Guyana, like Kuwait, is striving to further develop its natural resources to accelerate economic growth and ensure a good life for all of its citizens. Guyana remains deeply committed to its efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment and to provide better social services for all. There are ample opportunities for our two countries to collaborate in this regard."
Guyana and Kuwait, two small-states, have in the past worked closely at the multilateral level on issues relating to the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Guyana backed Kuwait at the UN when that country was occupied by Iraq. They are both members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Kuwait has funded various projects in Guyana. Guyana's only embassy in the Middle East and the East and North Africa region is in Kuwait and is financially subsidized by the emirate.
"We have given added life to our relations in recent years, through the conclusion of several cooperation agreements, especially in the areas of communication, culture, commerce and investment. We are confident that during your tenure we will be able to find practical ways of implementing these agreements," Granger added.
Contacts between Guyana and the Middle East have increased after Granger’s visit to Saudi Arabia last November. In prioritising the Saudis first instead of Iran, Granger calculated that the House of Saud has strong political and economic clout in the region.
Just a few days ago, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent its minister of state, Reem Al-Hashimy to Guyana in an effort to examine all areas and scope for cooperation. This was the first visit by a top ranking UAE diplomat to Guyana.