KUWAIT: Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria and member of ‘The Elders’ (right), speaks a roundtable discussion in Kuwait City yesterday along with fellow group member, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari. — Photo by Joseph Shagra
KUWAIT: The crisis in the Middle East can be considered as the worst in recent history, but a solution is always possible according to ‘The Elders’ group. Speaking at a roundtable discussion with local media at Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait City yesterday, Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria, UN diplomat, and member of Nelson Mandela’s organization ‘The Elders’, said that the turbulence in the Middle East now is currently the worst, as more and more people are continuously suffering, starving and dying in wars they have not created.
“Unfortunately, this region is suffering more than any other place in the world. His Highness the Amir of Kuwait is one of many leaders who realizes that, more than anything else, dialogue and understanding is very important because it can resolve many political disputes,” he said.
Brahimi was referring to the crises and suffering of people of both Syria and Yemen. “In Syria, the situation is still vulnerable. Syria is destroyed, yet there is hope. Currently, there are ongoing dialogue between Syrians themselves. Other countries which also have influence in the region such as Russia, Turkey and Iran are also talking. Yet, the situation in Syria is still the worst. We are praying for Syrian people and hope that the dispute there will be resolved soon. Yemen’s situation is almost same as well. There is ongoing dialogue, and we all hope for political settlements. The UN has access to many areas, and we really hope that things will get better there because it is really a disaster for Yemeni people. They are suffering a lot from sickness, starvation which are really rampant all over,” he added.
Voice for stability
Kuwait has long been a voice for stability and cooperation in this region, Brahimi said, adding that ‘The Elders’ welcome its continued commitment to a peaceful path, including as a member of the UN Security Council. “We also greatly appreciate Kuwait’s generosity to the victims of war in Syria and Iraq through the pledging conferences for humanitarian aid it has hosted and contributed to in such a substantial way,” he said.
In the last two days, Brahimi, together with Martti Ahtisaari – thecurrent President of ‘The Elders’, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate, have met with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah, as well as Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem and MPs. They also met Abdel Latif Yousef Al-Hamad, the President of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and representatives of civil society groups.
They praised Kuwait’s founding role and continued commitment to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and expressed their hope that all GCC members cooperate with His Highness the Amir in his role as a mediator to resolve their current differences. ‘The Elders’ also commended Highness the Amir for Kuwait’s efforts to prioritize peaceful and political processes to address all problems of the region, in particular the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Palestine. “We admire Kuwait’s work and determination to foster a peaceful and harmonious environment for its people, its neighbors and the wider region. All member states of the United Nations have a responsibility to follow the honorable principles set out in the UN Charter,” Ahtisaari said.
By Ben Garcia