Carter Arrives in Kuwait, Meets With U.S. Embassy Officials
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, Oct. 17, 2012 Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter arrived here yesterday and met with U.S. embassy officials to discuss current relations with the Middle Eastern nation, an embassy official said today.
“The focus of today's visit to the embassy was to share with Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter the broader bilateral picture,” said Tracy E. Roberts-Pounds, public affairs officer for the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
The deputy defense secretary, she said, received briefings on a variety of topics ranging from services provided to U.S. citizens, education efforts, local media, and the commercial relationship between the United States and Kuwait.
Afterward, Carter greeted service members from the U.S. Embassy's staff and took photos.
The embassy official said Carter's visit was a “great opportunity to remind both sides of the partnership that the U.S. enjoys with Kuwait,” as Kuwait continues to be one of the United States' most steadfast allies in the region.
“We have an enduring friendship with the government of Kuwait,” Roberts-Pounds said. “And it's interesting, because we often tend to think that U.S.-Kuwaiti relations kind of were born in 1990 [or] 1991, but the people of the Kuwait and the United States have a relationship that predates the invasion by [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein and liberation by the U.S.-led coalition by almost 100 years.”
Roberts-Pound noted an American missionary hospital was founded in Kuwait early in the 20th century, and “Kuwaitis have always enjoyed business ties with the United States.”
“They've also used the United States as a way of strengthening their national skill set,” she added. “In the 1950s, [Kuwait established] a scholarship program where they sent Kuwaitis to the United States forhigher education in U.S. universities and colleges. The first group of those folks were focused on management of the oil industry. But, increasingly, [education has] become one the many vital elements in this relationship.”
Last year, Roberts-Pound said, 1,850 Kuwaitis received full scholarships to universities and colleges all over America paid for by the government of Kuwait. "Through [education], our partnership and our special relationship will continue stay strong in addition to the outstanding military relationship that we . I think we're really fortunate to have Deputy Secretary of Defense Carter [here] today."