Kuwait marks 58th national day 

Kuwaitis celebrate the country's 58th Independence Day and the 28th anniversary of the end of the Gulf war with the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, in Kuwait City on February 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 26 February 2019
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Kuwait marks 58th national day 

  • The National Day commemorates the creation of Kuwait as a nation in 1961, while Liberation Day marks the end of the Iraqi occupation in 1991 during the Gulf War

CAIRO: Kuwait celebrated on Monday its national day, marking the anniversary of its 58th Independence and its 28th Liberation Days.

The National Day commemorates the creation of Kuwait as a nation in 1961, while Liberation Day marks the end of the Iraqi occupation in 1991 during the Gulf War.

Nation-wide festivities including firework displays and epic public entertainment activities. 

The day also marks the 13th anniversary of Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s assumption to power, as he he took to the throne in 2006. 

Since independence, Kuwait adopted balanced national and foreign policies aimed at maintaining the wellbeing of its people and bolstering ties of cooperation with its regional neighbors. 

Its Gulf neighbor, the UAE, celebrated the occasion by presenting a giant sand portrait of the Kuwaiti emir that could be visible from space. 

The portrait titled ‘Prince of Humanity’ covers an area of more than 170,000 square feet, and has been registered to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

It was captured in a video shared on Twitter by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE. 

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation also marked the occasion, by holding a series of events at its various airport terminals. 

Upon arrival to the Kingdom, passengers coming from Kuwait were greeted with roses, national flags of the two countries, and souvenirs in honor of the celebration.

A welcome statement was displayed on large screens inside the terminals of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. 

Similar gestures were made at other Saudi airports as well. 


Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

Updated 21 May 2019
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Beirut praises ‘progress’ on maritime border dispute

  • Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Lebanon insists that the area lies within its economic zone and refuses to give up a single part of it

BEIRUT: Lebanon has hinted that progress is being made in efforts to resolve its maritime border dispute with Israel following the return of a US mediator from talks with Israeli officials.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield returned to Lebanon following talks in Israel where he outlined Lebanese demands regarding the disputed area and the mechanism to reach a settlement.

The US mediator has signaled a new push to resolve the dispute after meetings with both Lebanese and Israeli officials.

Israel and Lebanon both claim ownership of an 860-square-kilometer area of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to begin offshore oil and gas production in the offshore Block 9 as it grapples with an economic crisis.

A source close to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who met with Satterfield on Monday after his return to Lebanon, told Arab News that “there is progress in the efforts, but the discussion is not yet over.” He did not provide further details.

Sources close to the Lebanese presidency confirmed that Lebanon is counting on the US to help solve the demarcation dispute and would like to accelerate the process to allow exploration for oil and gas to begin in the disputed area.

Companies that will handle the exploration require stability in the area before they start working, the sources said.

Previous efforts by Satterfield to end the dispute failed in 2012 and again last year after Lebanon rejected a proposal by US diplomat Frederick Hoff that offered 65 percent of the disputed area to Lebanon and 35 percent to Israel. Lebanon insisted that the area lies within its economic zone and refused to give up a single part of it.

Satterfield has acknowledged Lebanon’s ownership of around 500 sq km of the disputed 850 sq km area.

Lebanon renewed its commitment to a mechanism for setting the negotiations in motion, including the formation of a tripartite committee with representatives of Lebanon, Israel and the UN, in addition to the participation of the US mediator. Beirut also repeated its refusal to negotiate directly with Israel.

Two months ago, Lebanon launched a marine environmental survey in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters to allow a consortium of French, Italian and Russian companies to begin oil and gas exploration in the area.