Kuwait launches massive celebrations; US vows full support

February 5, 2011

A US official has pledged full support to Kuwait as it celebrates two national events and the anniversary of the Emir’s rule.

“Several ceremonial events will be held in Kuwait in February,” US Air Force Brig. Gen. Gregory Touhill, the chief of the Office of Military Cooperation at the US embassy in Kuwait, said.

“The event organisers will be recognising the 50th anniversary of the independence of Kuwait, the 20th anniversary of the liberation from occupation and the fifth anniversary of the Emir’s ascendance to the throne. The United States will be supporting the government of Kuwait during the celebration of the many events,” Touhill said.

According to Kuwait’s defence ministry, highlights of the February celebrations include military parades and an air show, with representatives from many of the 34 nations that fought for Kuwait’s liberation in the Gulf War, including Gulf Cooperation Council nations, Egypt, France, the Syria, Britain and the US.

Kuwaitis started the celebrations on January 24 when they marked the 20th anniversary of the first victory in the Gulf War – the restoration of a small island to Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

The island of Qaruh, about 37 kilometres from Kuwait’s mainland, was liberated on Jan. 21, 1991 by US and Kuwaiti forces.

“The Gulf War was significant because a large coalition of countries came together under a common United Nations mandate to combat aggression,” Touhill said. “The United States has had a very strong and positive relationship with Kuwait throughout its history. After the liberation it became even stronger on multiple levels: culturally, militarily, politically and industrially. Our economies are tied together, and we both share common values.”

To commemorate the liberation of Qaruh, Kuwait held a nighttime ceremony on the 275-by-75 meter island. Torches placed on the island’s perimeter were extinguished, symbolizing the end of the enemy occupation, and a Kuwaiti flag was hoisted from a tower, to represent the return of the island to its people.

The next day, more than 50 Kuwaiti government and military officials attended a reenactment of the island’s return to Kuwaiti sovereignty.

“It is important that the United States and Kuwait periodically celebrate the common bonds we have enjoyed for many years,” Touhill said. “Twenty years ago the United States stood with Kuwait, and today we stand with Kuwait. That sends a signal to the American people, as well as the Kuwaiti people, of the unbreakable bond between our countries.”




About the author

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

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