Tehran, Kuwait City Call for Greater Regional Convergence

President Hassan Rouhani (L) met Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah  al-Ahmad al-Sabah in Kuwait City on Feb. 15. President Hassan Rouhani (L) met Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah  al-Ahmad al-Sabah in Kuwait City on Feb. 15.

Kuwait's emir stressed the need for greater coordination among regional countries to combat the widespread chaos in West Asia, echoing Iran's call for better ties among Muslim nations, including Iranians and Persian Gulf Arabs.

"The current situation in the region requires us to have good relations with each other. We are all Muslims and should stand by each other as brothers and take joint steps toward development, stability and peace," Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said at a meeting with visiting President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday night, reported.

Rouhani was in Kuwait City on a fence-mending Persian Gulf tour, his first since becoming president in 2013, which took him to Oman earlier on Wednesday. The two Arab neighbors of Iran are friendlier toward it than some others, particularly Saudi Arabia, whose new leaders adopted a confrontational approach toward Tehran after the demise of King Abdullah in January 2015. Rouhani's daylong visit was apparently in connection with a message recently relayed to Tehran by Kuwait City on Persian Gulf Arab states' willingness for promotion of bilateral ties through dialogue and resolution of misunderstandings.

Iran's relations with some Persian Gulf states, which were tenuous over various issues, including conflicts in Syria and Yemen, were further damaged early 2016 when Saudis used as an excuse attacks on their diplomatic missions in Iran, which were condemned by Iranian officials, to cut relations. The Kuwaiti emir expressed satisfaction with Rouhani's unifying approach and efforts to reduce tensions with neighboring Arab states.

Praising historically friendly relations between Tehran and Kuwait City and Iranian support for Kuwaitis against the 1991 Iraqi aggression led by former dictator Saddam Hussein, the emir said his government is intent on furthering cooperation with Tehran.

"Kuwait is ready to develop and deepen ties with Iran in all fields," he said.

  Need for Compromise to Fix Disputes 

Rouhani said regional states should avoid moves that exacerbate internal tensions, as it is in their common interest to work against shared threats, particularly terrorism.

"We believe dialogue and compromise are the only way to settle disputes and misunderstandings among regional states," he said.

"Big troubles in the region such as [the spread of] terrorism pose common threats [to its nations], the only way for addressing which is that regional governments get behind each other".

On bilateral relations, the president expressed Iran's eagerness for closer cooperation with Kuwait, saying the two can exploit huge capacities for making joint investments and developing international transit routes.

Rouhani said forging more connections between the two sides' banks and preparing the ground for closer contacts between their businesspeople are a prerequisite for increased trade.

"We hope that the two sides' private sectors can engage more and exploit all opportunities for developing cooperation," he said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints