Egypt and Kuwait
Tuesday، 17 October 2017 12:00 AM
Egypt-Kuwait Relations started in the middle of the 19th century at the grassroots level even before the official level when the Kuwaiti students came to Egypt to join Al-Azhar and other universities, got involved in the Egyptian life and then returned back home to spread knowledge to the Kuwaiti people, Among the prominent figures are: Sheikh Mohammed Al-Farsi and Sheikh Musa'ed Al-Aazemi.
Egypt-Kuwait relations have been growing steadily throughout history, at all levels. The strength of relations between the two countries stems from the eternal fraternal ties between the two peoples and the keenness of the two countries to extend bridges of cooperation in all fields to achieve their mutual aspirations.
The relations gained momentum during the aggression by Saddam Hussein's former regime in Iraq against Kuwait. Thence, Egypt confirmed its rejection of the aggression and support to Kuwait, participating as well in the Kuwait liberation war.
On the other hand, Kuwait backed Egypt during the 1967 aggression and the October 1973 war. It was one of the first Arab countries to send armed forces before the 1967 war to assist Egypt in the Sinai liberation war. It sent a full brigade, " Yarmouk Brigade" which remained in Egypt until the October 1973 victory.
With the advent of June 30 Revolution, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad affirmed that Kuwait will provide full support to Egypt at the political and economic levels, and stated : "Egypt is a cherished country and Kuwait will never let her down. " He stressed to the then Egyptian president Adly Mansour: "your brothers fully support you"
The first political relations between the two countries began in line with the political and popular movement in Egypt after the First World War when the late Sheikh Hamad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Cairo. The late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also visited Cairo in 1953 and was received at the airport by Major General Muhammad Najib and Lieutenant Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In 1924, the Kuwaiti Literature Club read Egyptian newspapers, hosted its writers, discussed political life in Egypt and interacted extensively with the Egyptian political scene.
When Kuwait became independent in 1961, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser sent a cable to the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, in which he said: "On this bright day, the history of the Arab world witnessed a new dawn of the Kuwaiti independence and sovereignty. This glorious historic event is a great pleasure cherished by all Arabs. "
Egyptian experts in political sciences think that this cable defined the path of Egypt Kuwait strategic relations. Thus, Egypt objected at that time, the threats of x-president Abdel Kareem Qassim to annex Kuwait.
Abdel Nasser declared in a statement that unity necessitates popular will and common consent.
Egypt , as well, supported Kuwait when it requested the intervention of British forces and even participated in the Arab troops to defend Kuwait , which was highly appreciated.
Politically, Kuwait was among the first Arab countries to support the political developments in Egypt in the wake of the June 30 revolution. It supported the Egyptian people's will and backed the Egyptian government in order to bolster democracy and pursue the roadmap drawn up according to a time schedule that guarantees stability and security for Egypt.
The Egyptian-Kuwaiti Higher Joint Committee was established in 1998 in order to achieve the utmost cooperation in various fields of. The two countries enjoy many old and new cooperation protocols among their institutions, for example, military and media.
The two countries also witnessed reciprocal visits to support Arab issues and strengthen bilateral relations. Kuwait also contributed to the Gulf emergency aid package to Egypt following the overthrow of the MB.
Egypt-Kuwait economic relations have witnessed significant growth. Cumulative joint investment between the two countries exceeded $ 16 billion over the past four decades with an average of $ 400 million a year. Inter-trade reached $3 billion a year. The volume of tourist expenditure hit more than $2 billion annually, beside the Kuwaiti aid and loans to Egypt.
Investment between the two countries
Kuwait's investments in Egypt
According to GAFI statistics, Kuwait ranks fourth in the list of countries investing in Egypt (the third on the Arab scale), with total contributions to the incoming capital hitting about $ 2.8 billion during the period from 1970 - 31 October 2013, reflecting the activity of 902 companies, prevalent in most of the Egyptian governorates. The Kuwaiti investments in Egypt are forwarded to sectors of: services, construction, industry, agriculture and finance (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait)
Egyptian investments in Kuwait
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kuwait, the number of companies in which the Egyptian capital gave a share in until the end of 2012 is about 2736 companies, mostly small and medium-sized companies, with a share rate below 51% according to Kuwaiti law. The most important Egyptian investments in Kuwait is those of the “Arab Contractors Company” in Kuwait.
The most important projects ongoing recently in Kuwait are the $ 1.2 billion Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital which is the largest project won by “Arab Contractors” along its history, and the $ 917 million Al Jahra Road Development Project.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - The Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait
On the level of cumulative direct and indirect Kuwaiti investments in Egypt, they exceed $ 15 billion. They include about $ 3 billion of direct Kuwaiti accumulated investments according to the investment law implemented through the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, where about 930 Kuwaiti companies work in several sectors. In addition, there are Kuwaiti investments in Egyptian companies through partnerships and other legal frameworks in the fields of tourism, petroleum and others, as well as indirect investments in companies listed on the Egyptian stock exchange, in addition to large investments in the real estate sector by individuals and institutions.
With regard to intra-trade, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Kuwait has grown by about $ 3 billion in 2013/2014, according to the Central Bank of Egypt, compared with $ 2.9 billion in 2012/2013.
On June 30, 2013, Kuwait's economic assistance to Egypt has included about $ 4 billion, including $ 2 billion as deposits in the Central Bank of Egypt to support Egyptian international reserves, $ 1 billion as petroleum aid and $ 1 billion as a non-refundable grant. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development spent about $ 2.4 billion since its establishment to finance Egyptian projects in various sectors.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2012 (excluding oil and its derivatives) reached $ 339.3 million. The volume of Egyptian exports to Kuwait in 2012 reached $ 291.8 million. The volume of Egyptian imports from Kuwait in 2012 reached 47.5 million dollars. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2012 - with the calculation of petroleum and its derivatives – hit about $ 3.2 billion.
(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait)
The main Egyptian exports to Kuwait are electrical cables, food products, dairy products, ready-made garments, marble, granite and coal. The main Egyptian imports from Kuwait are polymers, polyethylene, polypropylene, shuttle buses, clothes and parts of car supplies.
Source: The Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait
On June 3, 2016, a joint memorandum of understanding was signed with KPC to facilitate the transit of Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Canal
In 2016/4/5, Egypt and Kuwait signed two financing agreements worth 110 million Kuwaiti dinars in the fields of irrigation, agriculture and electricity, signed by Egypt Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation and Kuwait Abdul Latif Al-Hamad, Director General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.
- The first agreement is worth 50 million Kuwaiti Dinars to contribute to the financing of the water saving project and the development of the agriculture system in the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Sinai Peninsula Development Project.
The second agreement includes financing of 60 million Kuwaiti Dinars to contribute to financing the Damanhour power generation project with a combined cycle (1800 MW).
On 22/11/2015 . Prime Minister Sherif Ismail signed an agreement with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on the financing of the project of the electric link between Egypt and Saudi Arabia (the Egyptian part) worth 30 million Kuwaiti Dinars.
On 7/10/2014, the second meeting of the Group of Experts from Egypt and Kuwait to complete the discussions of the terms of the agreement, which includes cooperation in the field of attracting and encouraging joint investments and exhibitions and trade missions and training in addition to the establishment of a joint trade committee between the two countries. The meeting also dealt with a number of investment projects in which the Kuwaiti side could participate with the Egyptian side. It was agreed to submit feasibility studies for some of the proposed projects in preparation for discussing them during the meeting of the two trade ministers. Minister of Industry Fakhry Abdel Nour, said that a memo of understanding is currently being prepared in the field of trade and industrial cooperation between the two countries.
Since June 30, 2013, Kuwait's economic assistance to Egypt has included about $ 4 billion, $ 2 billion of which was placed as a deposit in the Central Bank of Egypt to back Egyptian international reserves, $ 1 billion as petroleum aid and $ 1 billion as a non-refundable grant. Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), has provided Egypt, since its establishment, about $2.4 billion to finance Egyptian projects in the various sectors.
The Egypt-Kuwait relations have witnessed many mutual visits of the leaders of the two countries and their senior officials to support the Arab issues and strengthen the bonds of cooperation between the two countries. Following are glimpse of Some visits:
On 17/4/2017, Chairman of the Kuwaiti Military Inspection Authority Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al-Khader, and his accompanying delegation visited Egypt. He was received by the Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Mahmoud Hijazi,. The two sides discussed the relations of military cooperation between the armed forces of both brotherly countries and the efforts exerted to eradicate terrorism and achieve security and stability in the region.
On 23/4/2017, Pope of Alexandria, Patriarch of the Maronite preaching, Pope Twadros II, visited Kuwait. Tuwadros had a meeting with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, Sheikh Fariha Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and a number of Kuwaiti officials and dignitaries.
On 7/5/2017, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi visited Kuwait and was received by the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The two sides discussed the brotherly relations between the two countries and the two peoples and means of strengthening them at all levels and extending the horizons of cooperation between the two countries to serve their common interests. They discussed ways to support the joint Arab action process , ways to develop relations between them and the most important issues of common concern.
On 11/6/ 2017, member of the senior scholars of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and the Islamic Research Center and former President of Al-Azhar University, Prof. Ahmed Omar Hashim visited Kuwait and was received by the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at Bayan Palace
On 11/7/2017, Chairman of the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah and his accompanying delegation visited Egypt. He was received by Chairman of the State Information Service, Diaa Rashwan. The two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the SIS and the Agency in the light of the cooperation protocol signed between them. The idea of an electronic link between the sites of the SIS and the Agency was discussed.
On 17/7/2017, First Deputy of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah visited Egypt, was received by President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi. The meeting tackled the latest developmens of a number of regional issues, on top of which is the crisis with Qatar.
On 7/8/2017, First Deputy of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah visited Egypt, was received by President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid delivered a written message to President Al-Sisi from the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, regarding the efforts exerted by Kuwait in dealing with the Qatar crisis. The two sides discussed the latest developments related to this crisis in the light of Kuwait's endeavors, in this regard, seeking to preserve the unity of the Arab fronts.
On 3/1/2016, House Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, visited Egypt and was received by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The President pointed to the importance of strengthening the parliamentary bilateral relations between the two countries, pointing out Egypt's interest in activating its parliamentary role in the various regional and international forums such as the Arab Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The two sides discussed ways to combat extremist ideologies and the spread of terrorism by spreading awareness and enlightenment, improving education and culture, and banning terrorist groups from using modern technology, including the international information network which they employ to attract more members.
On 16/2/ 2016, First Deputy of Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait,Sheikh Sabah Al-Hammed Al-Sabah, paid a visit to Egypt, which was received by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The meeting tackled the latest developments in the Arab arena. It was emphasized that the current stage and its challenges necessitates pushing forward and strengthening the joint Arab action to confront the current dangers and work on reaching a settlement of the problems and conflicts experienced by some countries in the region.
On 9/4/2016,House Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly and Chairman of the Arab Parliamentary Union, Marzouk Ali Al-Ghanim visited Egypt. And was received by House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal. The two sides discussed ways to strengthen and consolidate Egypt-Kuwait relations.
On 11/5/ 2016, , the kuwaiti Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Yacoub Abdul Mohsen Al-Sanea was received by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The two sides discussed means of enhancing joint Arab action to face the current challenges facing the Arab nation, pointing out the importance of the efforts of the Council of Arab Ministers of Justice in strengthening judicial cooperation and the Arab legal frameworks concerned with the fight against terrorism.
On 9/9/2015, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received the Deputy Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament Mubarak al-Kharinj.
On 24/7/2015, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Kuwaiti Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah.
The meeting dealt with regional and international issues of mutual concern.
On 5/7/2015, A delegation from the Kuwait Fund for Development arrived to Egypt to discuss providing assistance for Syrian refugees in Egypt.
The Kuwaiti delegation met with Assistant Foreign Minister of Arab Affairs Ambassador Abdel Rahman Salah to review the burdens of the Egyptian government due to hosting Syrian refugees.
On 31/3/2015, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri take part in the third donor conference to raise funds for UN humanitarian operations in war-torn Syria, due to be held in Kuwait.
On 27/3/2015, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah addressed the inaugural session of the 26th Arab Summit. The Emir stressed that the situation in the Arab region was getting worse and more complicated, giving example of the deteriorating security situations in Libya and Yemen.
On 13/3/2015, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah visited Egypt to attend Egypt Economic Development Conference(EEDC) which held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
On 1/2/2015, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab left Cairo for Kuwait on a three-day visit.
Egyptian Ambassador to Kuwait Abdel Karim Soliman said during the visit, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah received a message from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the latest developments and means to boost joint cooperation.
On 8/1/2015, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with Vice Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Mobarak AlKhrinej. The meeting touched on the results of the president's successful visit to Kuwait.
On 5-6/1/2015, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's had talks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on ways of boosting bilateral relations between the two countries. Sisi stressed the deeply rooted relations between Egypt and Kuwait and Egypt's keenness on the stability and security of the Gulf State.
On 9/7/2014, Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah received Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri and his accompanying delegation.
On 8/6/2014, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the presidential palace. The meeting took up the two countries' relations and regional and international developments.
On 10/5/2014, Education Minister Mahmoud Abul Nasr visited Kuwait to discuss joint projects between the two countries in the education field and open the way for the exchange of experiences and knowledge.
On 24/3/2014, Former President Adly Mansour visited Kuwait to participate in the 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait. On the sidelines of the summit, Mansour met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah to review the Arab issues on the importance of unifying Arab ranks to face challenges facing the nation.
On 24/2/2014, Former President Adly Mansour received a message from Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. In the message, the emir expressed his country's support to Egypt and wished it success in completing the transitional roadmap.
Meanwhile, the then Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi also met the top Kuwaiti diplomat.
The visiting minister conveyed the Kuwaiti government and people's appreciation of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
Kuwait is keen to support Egypt politically and economically at the Arab, regional and international levels and open new fields for investment.
From 18/11/2013 to 20/11/2013, Former President Adly Mansour headed to Kuwait leading a top-ranking delegation attending the 3rd Afro-Arab Summit. Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah received Mansour at the Airport. Mansour said that Egypt's participation in the summit reflects Egypt's belief in the importance of cementing Arab-African cooperation, especially in the current stage as the world recognizes only strong and major entities.
On 30/10/2013, Former President Adly Mansour arrived in Kuwait on means of expanding cooperation between the two countries. Mansour and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Jaber confirmed the depth of relations between Egypt and Kuwait saying these relations are deeply rooted and historical.
On 15/7/2010, Egypt received Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah to participate in the Non-Aligned Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Investment Minister paid two visits to Kuwait, the first was in January 2008 to disseminate business attracting climate in Egypt and the second was on October 22, 2008 during which he met with the Emir of Kuwait and handed him a message from Former President Mubarak and the Prime Minister.
The cultural relations between Egypt and Kuwait began even before the political and economic relations. The Egypt-Kuwait cultural relations preceded the establishment of the Cultural House, when student mission from Al-Mubarakiya school was sent to study in Al-Azhar in 1942.
They had studied at al-Azhar theb returned to Kuwait to lay the foundation for scientific renaissance. Al-Azhar also supervised the religious institute in Kuwait in 1945. The Kuwaiti Education Minister Abdul Lateef Al-Shamlan, , asked his Egyptian counterpart Taha Hussein at that time to send Egyptian teachers to Kuwait and host a students mission to study in Egypt at the expense of the Egyptian government. In 1959, the “Kuwait House” for students was opened and later became the building of the Kuwait Embassy in Cairo.
The renowned Egyptian actor, Zaki Tulymat Went to Kuwait in 1958 where he founded the Arab Theater where Kuwait has made innovative contributions.
In the same year, Al-Arabi magazine was published and it has played uptill now a major role in spreading the Arab culture.
The establishment of the Cultural Bureau in 1958 gave a strong impetus to the development of cultural relations through a generation of Kuwaiti students studying in various domains and stages. Kuwaiti and Egyptian students make up for the so-called infrastructure of relations between the two countries.
The number of Kuwaiti students studying in the Egyptian universities are estimated at about 20,000.
Media relations between Egypt and Kuwait fall under the joint media cooperation protocol signed in Cairo in September 1998, aiming at supporting cooperation in various media fields, including: Middle East News Agency, radio and television sectors, news, diversified production, media production city, The State Information Service, the Egyptian satellite and the specialized channels sector.
In September 2017, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) was keen to strengthen cooperation with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and to enhanse it in various fields of media by signing an agreement to solidate bilateral relations.
An agreement has been signed between Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Akhbar El Yom newspaper in Egypt since October 2002, stipulating the exchange of the Al-Watan and Akhbar Al-Youm newspapers. It was also agreed to print Al-Ahram newspaper in Kuwait's Dar Al-Siyassa printing press and distribute it in Cairo and Kuwait at the same time.
Military cooperation between Egypt and Kuwait was distinctly evident after the participation of Kuwaiti forces in the 1973 October war in Egypt where the Egyptian and Kuwaiti blood mixed to restore the Arab dignity. The Egyptian army also participated and dedicated many martyrs in the fight against the brutal Iraqi aggression in the Kuwaiti liberation war in 1990.
The joint military commission exerts efforts through regular periodical coordination meetings to enhance bilateral cooperation. The Kuwaiti-Egyptian military relations recently enjoy flourish in the fields of training and education. The Egyptian military institutes and installations host large numbers of Kuwaiti students. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti institutes and military installations also host large numbers of Egyptian students, that is to exchange experiences, visions and ideas in the military field.
In February 2014, the Kuwait House of National Works opened the Egyptian Forces Pavilion, which includes collectibles supplied by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and military Production, as well as Documents, manuscripts, armor and pharaonic solids, some of which mark Egypt's role during the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion. This House deepens the brotherly relations between the two countries in general and the military ones in particular.
The director of the House, Yusuf al-Amiri, said that during his meeting with the then commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and Minister of Defense and Military Production, Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo, he asked him to develop the pavilion and modernize it and asked him to set up a Kuwaiti pavilion in the military museum for the Kuwaiti martyrs in 1967 and 1973 wars, which was up to implementation.
President Sisi said that maintaining the security of the Gulf States, including Kuwait, is an unquestionable priority for Egypt and that Egypt will do its utmost to defend and secure her brotherly Gulf countries against any kind of aggression.