Remarks by President Trump and Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait in Joint Press Conference in the East Room.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good afternoon, and thank you for all being here. It’s my great honor to welcome His Highness the Emir of Kuwait to the White House.
The United States and Kuwait share a strong and enduring partnership. We recently commemorated the 27th day of remembrance of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, which we all remember so well. The United States is proud to have contributed to the liberation of Kuwait and for the friendship we have built together in the years since.
Today, we reaffirm our commitment to our shared security interests and recognize Kuwait’s critical contributions to regional stability. We also thank Kuwait for its humanitarian leadership and for its partnership in the fight to destroy ISIS.
During my trip to Saudi Arabia, I spoke to the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations about the need to confront our shared enemies — murderous terror groups that threaten all civilized people. Every responsible nation must work together to strip these groups of their territory, their financing, and the false allure of their evil ideology.
I applaud Kuwait for its role in this effort and encourage all nations in the region to do their fair share in defeating those who wage war on the innocent. Each nation in the region must decide what kind of future they want for their own children: one of violence or one of peace. That also means confronting those, such as the Iranian regime, who support terror groups and radical militias.
Cooperation between America and Kuwait has never been stronger — never, ever. The FBI and the Kuwaiti government are expanding our counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing efforts. We are making progress on promoting Kuwaiti investments in the United States. They’re making tremendous investments in our country. They have great confidence in our country. We’re also entering a bilateral agreement with Kuwait regarding customs enforcement.
During the same period, and the same trip to Saudi Arabia — which was my great honor representing our incredible country — His Highness personally asked me to expedite a $5 billion agreement for the sale of American F/A-18 Super Hornet fighting jets for Kuwait. I am pleased to report that the State Department has now authorized this transferred purchase, which will not only strengthen our mutual security, but will greatly benefit American workers.
Kuwaiti’s investments in America through its sovereign wealth fund are profitable for Kuwaiti people and they create many, many jobs in the American workforce. I am pleased to report this year that Kuwait has taken delivery of 10 American-made Boeing 777 airliners. They’re beauties. American workers build the best planes in the world, by far, and we want them to be made available for those countries that want them. And Kuwait has been a big buyer of commercial airliners made by Boeing and others.
Our partnership extends beyond shared economic and security interests. We’re signing a memorandum to deepen the close educational ties between our two countries, enhancing English language, and that’s what we’re going to be doing — we’re enhancing the whole relationship through the use of the English language. And that is something that’s very exciting, I think, for both of us.
I want to thank His Highness for his leadership role and the role he’s playing to help the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council follow through on their pledges from all over — because we went to Saudi Arabia, and the pledges of ending terrorist financing came from every country in that magnificent room, on that magnificent day. And we are addressing the ongoing GCC dispute, and the Emir is leading those discussions and hopefully it will be resolved very soon.
We call on our GCC and Egyptian allies to focus on our commitments at that Saudi Arabia summit to continue our joint efforts to drive out and defeat terrorists. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt are all essential U.S. partners in this effort. We have great relationships with all of them right now; maybe better than we’ve ever had. We will be most successful with a united GCC.
Tomorrow, Secretary of State Tillerson and Foreign Minister Al-Sabah will chair the second U.S.-Kuwaiti Strategic Dialogue. By strengthening communications with allies like Kuwait, we send a strong message to both terrorist organizations and regional aggressors that they cannot win — they will not win; they cannot win against us; and our military is getting stronger and stronger and stronger — and that those who cherish and value human life will always prevail.
I want to thank His Highness for joining us here today. The United States values its close friendship with Kuwait and its people, and we look forward to strengthening these bonds even further. Together, we will show the world that the forces of destruction and extremism are no match for the blessings of prosperity and peace.
Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Thank you.
EMIR Al-SABAH: (As interpreted.) My dear President, Mr. President Donald Trump, Your Excellencies and Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, I’m delighted, and my delegation, to be here today in Washington, this great city, in response to the invitation that His Excellency, my friend President Trump, has extended to me.
I would like at the outset to reaffirm and resend once again our condolences to the President and the American people about the victims of Harvey Hurricane that hit Texas. And we are deeply affected by the human losses and the huge destruction in public facilities and property.
I pray to God almighty that he would make this, the coming hurricane that is about to hit Florida — for it to be a harbinger of goodness, not evil. I wish and hope that the losses would not be harmful to the American people and would not cause further sadness and grief for those who will fall victim to this hurricane.
Once again, we reaffirm that we stand by our friends in the U.S. in fighting and confronting this issue. We have had deep and comprehensive discussions that reflect the depth of our bilateral and historic relationship, and advanced relationships in all levels — at the political, economic, and military, and security levels — in order to serve the mutual interests of our two countries and people.
I here would like to commend the commitment that we have sensed here on the part of the U.S. about the security of the State of Kuwait. And within the framework of these relations, we remember with great gratitude the great role that the U.S. played when it assumed the leadership of the international coalition that liberated my country from the throes of the invading Iraqi forces and restored its freedom. And this memory will remain forever in the minds of the Kuwaiti people.
We also highly value the strategic relations between our two countries. We have discussed the situation in the country, foremost among which is the unfortunate dispute between our brothers in the Gulf region and our efforts to contain it, and the international support that we have received for these efforts.
We have also discussed our common efforts, in cooperation with the international community, in fighting terrorism and ending the sources of funding for it. And in this regard, I would like to commend the prominent role that the United States plays in combatting terrorism, especially the recent victories against terrorism. And we have also discussed the situation in Iraq, and the catastrophic situation in Syria, and Yemen, and Syria, and Libya. And we affirm the need to end their fighting there through dialogue between the various disputing parties.
And we have affirmed the necessity of the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in maintaining international peace and stability, because the continuation of those struggles continues to be a threat.
With respect to the Palestinian question, we have praised the recent U.S. efforts to move the peace process, and we affirmed the need to join efforts in order to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution to this problem on the basis of a two-state solution and in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Once again, I thank His Excellency, the President, for his kind invitation to us and for his kind hospitality. And we look forward to meeting with His Excellency, the President, in the State of Kuwait within the framework of our efforts to further enhance our relations and build on our strategic relationship in the service of the interests of both countries and people.
Thank you, Mr. President.