On Sunday, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper led the Presidential Delegation in Kuwait City to meet with His Highness Amir Nawaf Al-Ahmad al-Sabah. During his time in the region Esper also met with leaders in Qatar and Morocco.
On behalf of President Trump and the United States of America, Secretary Esper offered condolences to HH Amir Nawaf on the passing of longtime ruler Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who died on Tuesday.
It is difficult to mourn the wise leadership of the late HH Amir, as the region has been working to build his legacy for the future, Esper said.
The Secretary reflected with HH Amir Nawaf on the powerful example set by HH the late Amir. He is truly the Sheikh of diplomats, as HH Amir Sheikh Sabah set Kuwait upon a prosperous path to sustained peace and safety in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council. He was a tireless mediator that was capable of bridging insurmountable divides in pursuit of regional stability and security.
HH Amir Sheikh Sabah also personified the shared value that Kuwait and the United States place on our longstanding defense relationship, Esper said. He was also an extraordinary architect of Kuwait’s humanitarian contributions in the world.
The Secretary also had an opportunity to discuss with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser al-Mohammed Al-Sabah the security cooperation and commitment to the advancement and modernization of Kuwait’s forces. This is a priority of HH the late Amir Sabah.
Esper thanked HH the Amir and Minister Ahmed for their continued support of one of the largest U.S. military presences in the world.
The Secretary shared his gratitude with HH Amir Nawaf, Minister Ahmed, and the Royal Family for their generous hospitality during this difficult time. The United States will continue to keep our friend and partner Kuwait in our thoughts during this period of mourning.
On Saturday, prior to his visit to Kuwait, Esper met with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah while in Qatar.
He expressed his gratitude for the Qatari Emir’s hospitality in hosting 8,000 U.S. service members and DoD civilians in Qatar. The two also discussed the importance of the strong defense partnership and bolstering interoperability between the U.S. and Qatar.
During their discussion, they also recognized the solemn circumstances of Secretary Esper’s visit to the region, with the unfortunate passing of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the late Amir of the State of Kuwait.
Esper acknowledged the important role the Sheikh played in promoting cooperation throughout the Gulf region.
Both Secretary Esper and Dr. Khalid expressed their interest in strengthening broader regional defense cooperation, ensuring collective security and a unified response to threats.
On Friday, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. He thanked the Major Non-NATO Ally for its leadership role as they are advancing stability and security across Africa. This is a top priority for the United States.
Secretary Esper and Foreign Minister Bourita shared their mutual concerns about regional instability, which is being caused by violent extremist groups and coercive foreign activity.
They discussed the important work of the Transitional Government in Mali in order to restore constitutional rule and prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the situation.
Although Africa is contending with these threats, the Secretary noted the strong leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. He highlighted the progress and strength of the U.S.- Moroccan partnership, which is a part of the larger effort to counter instability on the continent.
They also discussed the importance of the new Roadmap for Defense Cooperation between the United States and Morocco, which will guide cooperation in a range of priority areas.
Secretary Esper noted his full support for Moroccan force modernization initiatives, noting how these changes would help strengthen the ability for the U.S. and Morocco to more effectively face regional threats together.