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Canada-Kuwait Relations

Canada and Kuwait established diplomatic relations in 1965. Canada has an Embassy in Kuwait City. Kuwait is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa.

At the basis of the friendship between the two countries is the fact that more than 4000 Canadian Forces personnel served in the Gulf in 1990-1991, as part of the international coalition to force the Iraqi military out of Kuwait. In March 2006, Kuwait, through the Kuwaiti Embassy in Canada, awarded a Liberation of Kuwait Medal to Canadian soldiers who served in the first Gulf War.      

The establishment in Kuwait of a staging base to support Canada’s mission to Afghanistan is the latest major development in our bilateral relations. During his visit to Kuwait July 11-12, 2011, the Minister of National Defence, Peter McKay, signed an MOU formalising the Canadian military presence in Kuwait. The staging base has been operational since September 2011 and is primarily involved in moving equipment, material and personnel out of Afghanistan.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, attended the G8 BMENA meeting in Kuwait City, November 20-22, 2011. On this occasion, he had bilateral meetings with the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister Nasser, and the new Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.

The Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, made a working visit to Canada in September 2011.The visit included a ceremony to sign a Foreign investment Protection Agreement (FIPA), a tête-à-tête with Prime Minister Harper and a working lunch with the Prime Minister and Ministers of Defence, Health and Trade.

The Governor General of Canada, The Right Honourable David Johnston and his wife, visited Kuwait, February 25-27, 2011, at the invitation of the Amir of Kuwait on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the country following the 1990-91 Iraqi occupation.

There have also been a number of high-level Canadian visits to Kuwait:

  • The Minister of International Trade visited Kuwait in October 2010;
  • Kuwait Minister of Commerce and Industry visited Canada in November 2009;
  • The Kuwaiti Minister of Health was twice in Canada in 2010.

A delegation from the Kuwaiti Majlis Ash Shura (legislative council) visited Canada in September 2010.

Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which is a priority market under Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy. This small, rich country can count on oil reserves estimated at 104 billion barrels (approximately 7% of the global reserves).

Many Canadian companies are currently active in Kuwait covering a range of trade sectors. Canada exports machinery, vehicles, wood and food products.

May 2012

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