Speech of His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah on the occasion of the farewell ceremony of the US Ambassador to the State of Kuwait  
  16th September 2019  

In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,

May peace and blessings be upon the faithful Prophet, Muhammad bin Abdullah, and on his family and companions,


His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America Mr. Lawrence Robert Silverman,

Their Excellencies the Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It’s my pleasure to welcome you all today, to bid farewell to His Excellency Mr. Lawrence Robert Silverman, Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Kuwait, who has spent nearly four years with us, representing his country, people and government. He is an ambassador with a vast diplomatic experience, which was never limited to representing his country. He participated as a negotiator in many files, in Namibia and Angola in Africa, in Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, and in Wye River Peace negotiations in Maryland, in 1998. He was in charge of files related to the relations of the United States with Central and Eastern European countries. His experience enabled him to hold sensitive positions in the State Department and to be the special advisor of the vice-president of the United States / Mr. Joe Biden. Our friend to whom we bid farewell today has a broad experience focused mostly on issues related to political and economic reform.s


Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Kuwaiti-American relations go back to the early 20th century, when the Americans decided to build a hospital in Kuwait, at a time when our medication was based on popular traditions, and modern health services were almost absent. They used in 1911 an annex of the Palace of Sheikh Mubarak as a temporary hospital until the construction of the first hospital was completed in 1913. The construction of this American Hospital was a milestone in the beginning of modernity and the development of our society. In this hospital, Kuwaitis learnt to cure some incurable diseases. They recognized that the hands of the hospital’s staff bring mercy, health and cure, and thus the Kuwaiti-American relationship started from a humanitarian perspective, which immortalized the hospital staff in the people's memory. Today, I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the first pioneers who worked at the American Hospital in Kuwait, and I would like to  especially thank the managers who carried out their humanitarian tasks throughout our difficult circumstances: Dr. Paul Harrison (1912-1913), Dr. Stanley Mylrea (1913 – 1942) and Dr. Lewis R. Scudder (1939-1967). I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the doctors who worked with them over the past 100 years, such as, Dr. Wells Thomes, Dr. Harold Storm, Dr. Gerald Nykerk, Dr. Maurice Heusinkveld, Dr. Bernard Voss, Dr. Donald Bosch, Dr. Alfred Pennings, Dr. Egbert Fell, Dr. Eleanor Calverley (1912-1929), Dr. Esther Barny (1930-1937), Dr. Mary Allison (1934-1940) and Dr. Ruth Crouse (1940-1946). I would also like to thank the distinguished nurses, Miss Mary Van Pelt (1916-1938) who was loved by Kuwaitis and who was nicknamed Khatun Miryam, and Mrs. Eleanor Heusinkveld (1945-1949). It is to be mentioned that three of these pioneers chose to be buried in Kuwait: Dr. Mylrea in 1952, Dr. Nykerk in 1964, and Dr. Scudder in 1975. The American Hospital still owns its historical buildings located on the Gulf street, which witness the beginning of the relationship between the two countries.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


If the relationship between Kuwaiti and American peoples is old and started from a humanitarian standpoint, our diplomatic and political relations are also considered to be ones of the oldest relationships. Since the early fifties, we had an American consulate in Kuwait, which was turned into an embassy after the independence of Kuwait, in 1961. Our relationships have noticeably progressed since then and reached their highest level in 1990, when the United States decided to persuade the international community to form a military alliance to liberate Kuwait from the brutal occupation. It was a moral decision aiming to defend the world peace, the UN Charter and the international laws. Had it not been to this courageous decision, the law of the jungle and chaos would have prevailed, rights would have been lost, and military invasion would have become the approach to solve political problems between countries. The sacrifices that the free world made to liberate Kuwait were made for the sake of maintaining the world peace, while the sacrifices of the United States were due to its position in leading the international community as a superpower, which we value and respect. Our mutual relations took - since then - a clear strategic direction, based on a solid alliance and firm foundations of shared values, visions and mutual respect.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


The alliance between our two countries means strategic partnership at all levels and in various fields, such as defence, security, trade, investment, finance, education, culture, art, consular affairs, customs, borders protection and health matters, as well as close cooperation in international forums to address issues affecting global peace and security, such as the fight against terrorism and against the use of mass destruction weapons. On the military level, Kuwait has updated its military facilities used jointly by our forces, as directed by the Military Committee. On the security level, we have always worked together in order to fight against terrorism. On the international level, the State of Kuwait has, in cooperation with the United States, assisted displaced people from troubled regions, who were hosted by other countries as refugees. On the commercial level, Kuwait has been a long-term active investor in the United States, mainly through the Kuwait Investment Authority, which allocates most of its investments to the United States of America, or invests in US dollars, which contributes to the support of the US economy. On the trade level, bilateral trade has witnessed a major increase. On the educational level, American educational institutions have embraced five generations of Kuwaitis, and the number of Kuwaitis who are studying in America keeps rising.

Dear Ambassador, we are still seeking to create more strategic partnerships between our two countries.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


There is a main rule in Kuwaiti diplomacy, which I would like to highlight. Kuwait does not forget its friends and those who supported us and stood by us in our difficult times and severe crises. Their names will remain in the memory of our future generations. And like we say, a friend in need is a friend indeed, and therefore the position of the United States of America from the brutal invasion of Kuwait will remain in the memory of our generations and in the history of Kuwait. I was delighted when our two countries decided to dedicate a site for the Desert Storm memorial in Washington DC, in order to commemorate those who participated in the liberation of Kuwait. We are all looking forward to its opening in the near future.


Finally, I would like to thank you all, and thank HE Ambassador Silverman for all his efforts in strengthening the relations between our two countries, and I would like to wish him success and prosperity in serving his country.

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