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Secretary of Defense Speech

Bilateral Meeting with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister al-Sabah

Sept. 7, 2017
Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Welcome Your Excellency Minister, Ambassador, military officers, members of the delegation. You are most welcome at the Pentagon today as a special ally. Your Excellency, it is good to see you again after meeting during my trip to Europe, I think in February.


It is good to see you because our two nations share a meaningful history of security cooperation and understanding. Since the intervention to oust Saddam Hussein’s army from your sovereign territory in 1991, our countries have maintained a highly productive military relationship.


As I mentioned in front of Your Highness and the President today, I fondly recall the 50 Kuwaiti soldiers who served bravely in my Marine Infantry Battalion during our assault through minefields – your young Air Force NCOs fighting together with us.


Now our militaries remain bonded by shared security concerns, which I felt was highlighted in today’s earlier meeting. Our views on these concerns mirror almost to the letter.


Regional stability is strengthened by Kuwait’s robust commitment to fighting terrorism. In light of our common counterterrorism cause, our countries maintain a very close military relationship. In recent years, we have partnered in joint training and exchange programs focused on enhancing counterterrorism at the local unit level.


In addition, we greatly appreciate your Emir’s leadership and tireless efforts to mediate the recent rift between Qatar and other countries in the GCC. Kuwait stepped forward in its usual way – it was a difficult situation for your Emir, and we appreciate his leadership.


I look forward to discussing how we can further advance our countries’ military partnership in the coming months and years, in particular, by exploring ways to increase Kuwait’s involvement in the D-ISIS campaign.


Your Excellency, members of the delegation, thank you for coming. You are most welcome here.


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