National Day of Kuwait

Ambassador Salem Rashed Al-Shebli
28 February 2024

The National Day of Kuwait, observed on February 25th, commemorates an important moment in the nation's history - the declaration of independence and the coronation of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah as the first Emir of the State of Kuwait. Emerging from humble beginnings as a modest fishing village in the 18th century, Kuwait has burgeoned into a prominent commercial center with a per capita GDP of USD 24,000. The discovery of oil reserves in 1938 catapulted the nation into prosperity, securing its status as custodian of approximately 7% of the world's oil resources.

During a reception in Pretoria, South Africa, Ambassador Salem Rashed Al-Shebli reaffirmed Kuwait's unwavering solidarity with the State of Palestine, while commending South Africa's principled stance at the International Court of Justice in condemning the atrocities inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. Kuwait has been at the forefront of providing immediate humanitarian aid to Palestine, dispatching over 1,500 tons of essential supplies. Ambassador Al-Shebli joined the calls for a ceasefire to halt the cycle of displacement, casualties, and devastation in the region.

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The enduring bond between Kuwait and South Africa spans three decades, characterized by a steadfast commitment to mutual prosperity, peace, and conflict resolution. Bilateral trade has flourished, surging to USD 700 million over the past half-decade, accompanied by substantial investments in South Africa.

The celebratory cake cutting ceremony of the 63rd Anniversary of the State of Kuwait
Expressing gratitude to the global community, Ambassador Al-Shebli acknowledged Kuwait's election to the UN Human Rights Council for the term spanning from January 2024 to 2026. This milestone is testament to Kuwait's unwavering dedication to upholding human rights principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Furthermore, the Kuwait Fund continues its mission of extending financial and technical assistance to developing and least developed nations.

Professor Somadoda Fikeni, Commissioner at the Public Service Commission for South Africa, conveyed heartfelt congratulations of the South African government to the people of Kuwait and His Highness Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jabar Al-Sabah. In addition, he offered sincere condolences on the passing of the former Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in December last year.

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