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Trump Talks Trade Deals, Terrorism With Emir of Kuwait

2018-09-06 01:57
President Donald Trump welcomed the emir of Kuwait as a friend to the White House on Sept. 5, almost exactly a year after the leader's last visit to Washington. Trump called Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah a very "special" and "highly respected" leader in the Gulf region, and said the United States appreciated his friendship.  Emir Al-Sabah, who leads a Muslim-majority nation about the size of New Jersey sandwiched between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, had similar accolades for the United States.   "I commend the unwavering commitment of the United States to the security and stability of our region as it had demonstrated in its leadership of the international coalition that liberated my country," he said, referring the U.S. involvement in the Gulf War, in which Iraq annexed and occupied Kuwait. "We will also discuss means of cooperation to resolve the crisis in the Gulf region and look forward with hope that an end to this crisis will be reached," he said.  Emir Al-Sabah pointed to the violence in Yemen and the Palestinian–Israeli conflict as particular areas where the United States was having a positive effect. Trump said: "Frankly, we're working very hard to bring some stability into the Middle East. Yemen is a tragic situation." Both leaders talked about the important role of investment for the countries' relationship, and Trump thanked Emir Al-Sabah for Kuwait's "tremendous investments in the United States." The United States exports mainly vehicles, aircraft, and machinery to Kuwait. Trade between the two countries has increased 20 percent since 2016. In 2016, foreign direct investment from Kuwait into the United States reached $1.1 billion.  In June, Boeing was awarded a $1.5 billion contract to build 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the Kuwait Air Force. "That's jobs for the United States," Trump said. "Nobody makes jets, fighters, and all of the different components better than the United States.  ... We've given them great incentive. But we appreciate the big purchases that you've been making." Most of the leaders' private conversation was not publicized, but Trump said that they talked about "difficulties in the Middle East." After the meeting, Trump held a working group with the emir and a delegation of officials from Kuwait that he said was to talk about trade and terrorism. Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the name of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Epoch Times regrets the mistake.