US ambassador to Kuwait urges Administration to send envoy to Syria

April 25, 2010
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Deborah helping keep Kuwait beaches clean - Al Watan

US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah K. Jones has urged her country to send its newly-appointed head of diplomatic mission to Syria.

Responding to a question about US-Syrian relations, the ambassador who was contributing to a clean-up of a Kuwaiti beach said that “we need to send our ambassador to Syria because there are serious issues to be discussed between the two sides.”

Jones said that on a personal level, she has “previously spent a wonderful time” in Syria.

The US Administration in February selected Robert Ford, a fluent Arabic speaking career diplomat with postings in Bahrain, Algeria and Iraq, to Damascus after a five-year hiatus.

However, the Senate has not yet confirmed his appointment among growing concerns that the Administration’s move to step up dialogue with Syria might be stalled by opponents arguing against any rapprochement between Washington and Damascus. Recent allegations that Syria was providing a “wider array” of missiles to Hezbollah have compounded the difficult situation, even though diplomats insist that the presence of a US ambassador in Washington would help tackle such issues more effectively.

In Kuwait City, Jones told reporters that a forthcoming meeting between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Mohammed Al Sabah and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton would address Kuwaitis being held in Guantanamo.

“The two governments attach great importance to the issue of Kuwaiti Guantanamo detainees, which will be part of discussions to be held between US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Dr Mohammed Al Sabah in a few days time in Washington,” the ambassador was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti daily Al Watan.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss all relevant issues concerning the two countries, she said.

Reacting to a recent decision by Kuwaiti authorities to deport Egyptians after they gathered in Kuwait City to show support for likely Egyptian presidential candidate Mohammed ElBaradei, Jones reiterated her country’s position that freedom of expression is a universal right that needs to be safeguarded by governments in order to create a conducive political atmosphere for individuals.

“As far as the government of Kuwait is concerned, you need to ask Kuwait about it,” she said.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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