Foreign Minister Heiko Maas departs for Kuwait on Sunday (16 December). The aim of his visit is to support the policy of balanced interests that the emirate is pursuing in the region. Diplomatic mediation will especially be required to address the conflict in Yemen. UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths recently succeeded in having the parties to the conflict agree to initial talks. In Kuwait City, Maas will discuss this issue with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al Sabah and Emir Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. Other topics on the agenda will be the situations in Syria and in Iraq.
A crisis-riven region
In a region marked by many crises, Kuwait plays an important role. Whether it be in the conflict in Yemen, the confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran or tensions in connection with Qatar – Kuwait has in recent years repeatedly acted as a mediator in dangerous crises in the region. Furthermore, the emirate makes large financial contributions for humanitarian assistance for people in need.
Discussing the Yemen talks
A chief topic of discussion during Foreign Minister Maas’ meetings will be the UN-sponsored Yemen talks. In Stockholm last week, representatives of the Yemeni Government met with representatives of the Houthi rebels.
Exploring possible joint steps
Germany is lending full diplomatic support to the UN-sponsored talks. Discussions with neighbouring countries in the region such as Kuwait will be key in this regard. The aim will be to jointly examine what steps are best suited to supporting the peace process that has just got under way.
The conflict has brought humanitarian disaster upon the country in the south of the Arabian peninsula. Civilians have repeatedly been caught up in the fighting. Millions are going hungry, and many children are dying from malnourishment. To alleviate the suffering, Germany has this year alone made available more than one hundred million euros in humanitarian aid.
Preparing to cooperate in the UN Security Council
The conflict in Yemen will not be the only major crisis on which Kuwait and Germany coordinate their action – next year, the emirate and Germany will both assume non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.