Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah praised the efforts of the Kuwaiti media last week, as a delegation of journalists
he supported returned from a high-profile tour of the region earlier this year.
"Often there is no greater way to communicate with Kuwaiti citizens than through a free and fair news media," Sheikh Jaber said. "The media connects us, brings us together and is an essential tool of democracy."
The Defense Minister made his remarks in honor of a delegation of media members returning from a recent tour of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Lebanon and Syria. The delegation represented Kuwait in the midst of three landmark anniversaries -- the 50th anniversary of its independence, the 20th anniversary of its liberation from Iraq and the 5th anniversary of the Kuwaiti Amir's assumption of power.
Sheikh Jaber expressed his admiration for the Kuwaiti press and media, citing this as a reason for his full-fledged support of the media delegation. The delegation was made possible with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti Embassies and the military attaches from the Ministry of Defense.
Beginning with a tour throughout the Gulf from 28 January – 4 February, the delegation met with a variety of government officials. In Saudi Arabia, the delegation met with the following: Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh; Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs; Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information; and Prince Nayef bin Abdulziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. In Bahrain, they met with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa; the General Commander of Bahrain's Defense Force; and the Minister of the Media. In Qatar, the delegation met with the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani and the Chief of Staff.
In Oman, they met with the Sultan counselor Abdulziz Alrawas; the Minister of Defense Affairs Bader Alborsaidi and the Minister of Media. Also, in the UAE, the group interacted with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Saif bin Zayed; Deputy Prime Minster and Minster of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Geragash and Chief of Staff Lt. General Hamed Alromaithy.
A separate tour to Syria and Lebanon followed from 8 February – 12 February. In Syria, the delegation met with Muhammad Naji al-Otari, Prime Minister; Ali Habib Mahmud, Minister of Defense; Walid al-Mouallem, Minister for Foreign Affairs; and the Minister of the Media. Finally, the delegation concluded the tour in Lebanon where they met with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and former speaker of the Parliament during the Gulf War, Hussein el-Husseini, among others.
Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister has often spoken of the need for greater communication with members of the media. In recent years he has patronized a set of awards for the best journalists in Kuwait.