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Kuwait starts up its first solar power plant
26 October 2016 - Kuwait began operating its first-ever solar power plant on Wednesday, 26 October, at the Umm Gudair oil field, a landmark for the OPEC member country as it seeks to diversify its sources of energy to meet fast-rising local demand. The 30-million Kuwaiti dinar ($99 million) project, Sidrah 500, will produce 10 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Kuwait announced plans last year to generate 15 percent of its energy needs via renewable sources by 2030. (more)

Kuwaiti Emir in Iran for first visit in decades
1 June 2014 - Kuwait's Emir has arrived in Iran's capital, Tehran, for his first visit in decades as the Islamic Republic's relations continue to thaw with Gulf nations under moderate President Hassan Rouhani. A report by Iran's official IRNA news agency said Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah arrived Sunday for a two-day visit, accompanied by several ministers. It said the Emir will meet Rouhani and others on a visit aimed at strengthening ties. (more)

Kuwait, Netherlands sign MoU to boost cooperation in environment sector
26 April 2014 - Kuwait's Environment Public Authority (EPA) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (NEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration in the field of the environment. Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Dutch politician of Moroccan origin, has been the Mayor of Rotterdam since 2009. He speaks fluent Arabic. He underlined that the signing of the MoU reflects the 'very good' relations between the Netherlands and Kuwait. (more)

Kuwait hosts Djibouti official, hails ties
21 November 2013 - Kuwait's Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, hailed the bilateral relations between Kuwait and Djibouti -- a tiny nation of less than three million people in the Horn of Africa -- and noted they are constantly being developed. The minister made the remark while hosting a banquet in honour of Djibouti's Minister of Islamic Affairs, Culture, and Awqaf Properties, Aden Hassan Aden. Sheikh Salman, who also serves as head of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL), stressed keenness to bolster the cultural interaction and exchange in particular. Minister Aden expressed his country's keenness on further strengthening relations, most particularly in the fields of culture, arts, and literature, as Kuwait plays a pioneering role in this field in the region. (more)

Kuwaiti Premier visits Iraq, tightening bonds
12 June 2013 - Kuwait's Prime Minister discussed ties with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Wednesday, signalling improving relations between neighbours still working to overcome the more than two-decade legacy of war. The warming bonds between Shiite-led Iraq and Sunni-ruled Kuwait is noteworthy in a region increasingly plagued by the sectarian divisions running through Syria's civil war and Iraq, which is struggling to contain its worst eruption of violence in years. (more)

Kuwait making tentative steps to connect with youth
8 May 2013 - n a January afternoon in Kuwait City, a group of bloggers gathered around three men they would not normally expect to see in a downtown coffee shop. Education Minister Nayef al-Hajraf, Commerce and Industry Minister Anas al-Saleh, and Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah, all in their early 40s, had come for an informal meeting with some 30 Kuwaiti bloggers and online journalists to discuss issues that concern young people. 'It was an ice-breaking action,' Sheikh Mohammad, a member of the ruling family who is Kuwait's minister for cabinet and municipal affairs, told Reuters. In an attempt to prepare for the future of a country where more than half of citizens are under 25, Kuwait has tasked the three men and other younger officials with exploring reform. (more)

Kuwait author wins Arabic book prize for tale of foreign workers
23 April 2013 - Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi has won the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his portrayal of the lives of foreign workers in Gulf countries in 'The Bamboo Stalk'. The 31-year-old Alsanousi became the youngest winner in the $50,000-prize's six-year history for the story seen through the eyes of Issa, the son of a Kuwaiti father and a Filipina mother. 'All the judges agreed on the superior quality of this novel, both artistically and also in terms of its social and humanitarian content,' the panel's chair Egyptian writer Galal Amin said in a statement on Tuesday. (more)

Kuwait hosts first Palestinian leader since Gulf War
15 April 2013 - Kuwait says it has hosted a Palestinian leader for the first time in more than 20 years after ties were broken over the 1990 Iraq invasion of the Gulf state. The official Kuwait News Agency said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attended a ceremony Monday to open a Palestinian Embassy in Kuwait City. (more)

Kuwait budget surplus rises to $15 billion April-May
18 September 2011 - Kuwait's budget surplus stood at 4.2 billion dinars ($15.3 billion) in the first two months of its 2011/12 fiscal year, larger than a year ago on higher-than-projected oil revenue and lower spending, finance ministry data showed on Sunday. A Reuters poll in June forecast Kuwait's economy would grow 4.4 percent in 2011 and generate a fiscal surplus of 20.2 per cent of gross domestic product in 2011/12, the largest among Gulf Arab oil exporters. (more)

Kuwaiti foreign minister on landmark visit to Iraq
26 February 2009 - Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister met Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Thursday on the first high-level visit by a Kuwaiti official since Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of the tiny Gulf state. Sheikh Mohammad met Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari in Baghdad and praised the government for January provincial elections that turned out to be Iraq's most peaceful vote since the US invasion. The visit also marks growing acceptance of Iraq by its Arab neighbours. Many Arab states have started to open embassies in the country. (more)


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Kuwait's rifts highlighted by election boycott
1 December 2012 - Kuwait's deep political rifts took centre stage in parliamentary elections Saturday as backers of the ruling establishment cast ballots while a broad opposition alliance staged a boycott and vowed to reject the outcome. The voting capped months of political upheavals and showdowns in the oil-rich Gulf state -- a strategic Western ally -- and the polarised atmosphere suggested more tensions ahead. Kuwait has the Gulf's most politically powerful parliament and the election is certain to restore control to pro-government lawmakers. Yet that doesn't guarantee any extra breathing space for the ruling system amid claims it is overstepping its powers. A wide-reaching coalition of opposition factions -- ranging from hardline Islamists to Western-leaning liberals -- already has challenged the legitimacy of the new parliament because of the boycott and could increasingly take their grievances to the streets. Kuwait has been left without an effective working parliament for over five months. Complaints against authorities include increasing efforts efforts to muzzle free speech and failure to have Kuwait's economy and growth keep pace with other dynamic Gulf centres. (more)

Kuwait fears Iraq violence could spread - minister
17 January 2010 - Kuwait fears a rise in militant attacks and sectarian tensions in Iraq could cause a new security threat for the Gulf Arab oil producer, a minister said in remarks published on Sunday. The sectarian bloodshed unleashed by the 2003 US invasion of Iraq has largely abated but US and Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi authorities expect attacks by Sunni militants to increase ahead of key parliamentary elections in March. Large-scale bombings killed dozens this month across Iraq, which Baghdad blamed on al Qaeda militants and elements of former leader Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party. 'I'm worried about the collapse of the security system in Iraq, which could drive many Iraqis to seek refuge in Kuwait,' Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Salem al-Sabah told al-Qabas daily. Relations between Iraq and Kuwait became tense last year because of a dispute over billion of dollars Baghdad owes to Kuwait in reparations for 1990-91 occupation of the small state in the era of Saddam Hussein. (more)

Kuwaiti Emir dissolves Parliament amid disputes
22 May 2006 - Kuwait's ruler Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah dissolved Parliament Sunday and called early elections amid a dispute between the government and lawmakers over electoral reform. (more)

Human trafficking still a problem in Kuwait
2 January 2006 - Foreign domestic labourers in Kuwait suffer from human rights abuse including physical abuse, long working hours, and withholding of wages. Many go to their embassies for refuge, but despite the conditions, large numbers of the labourers want to stay in Kuwait because their chances of finding work that pays a decent wage at home are virtually nil. (more)

Lawmakers complain over Halliburton probe
4 April 2005 - Lawmakers investigating claims a Kuwaiti supplier to a Halliburton subsidiary charged too much for fuel deliveries to Iraq are complaining about the lack of support the US military and the American company have provided to their investigation. (more)

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