Kuwait and Britain are “old friends” the Queen said at the State Banquet celebrating the visit of the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Her Majesty’s spoke warmly of how the Friendship Treaty signed 1899 had grown over the years to encompass enduring economic, cultural, educational and security relationships, including Britain’s aid in liberating Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991.
The speech set the tone for a successful visit which saw the signing of a £1 billion deal for FCO Services (a trading fund of the FCO) to develop the first phase of the Kuwaiti Security Programme, which will upgrade Kuwait’s homeland security.
An event was held to mark the 60th anniversary of the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), the world’s oldest sovereign wealth fund, at which plans to set up an infrastructure investment arm in the UK were unveiled. This will channel funds into large scale infrastructure projects in UK and globally.
The visit also saw the inaugural meeting of the UK-Kuwait Joint Steering Group, set up to further broaden bilateral ties in a range of areas.