Dr. Mohammad AlSabah in Florence: We express our gratitude to you, and we are united by freedom and democracy


Dr. Mohammad AlSabah in Florence


October 6, 2011


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohammad AlSabah, affirmed that the strong ties between the cities of Kuwait and Florence are ties between peoples that go beyond officials and employees. He recalled in this regard the outstanding example set by the city of Florence in solidarity with justice and freedom during the Iraqi invasion.

Dr. Mohammad's remarks came at the beginning of his speech delivered on the sidelines of his nomination for an honorary doctorate from the University of Perugia and the conferral of the "Asad Marzouk" medal in recognition of his role in strengthening these ties.

Dr. Mohammad added that "Kuwait will never forget this support and assistance, as it will always be grateful to your people with whom we share the values of freedom and democracy."

He emphasized the importance of continuing to build and strengthen friendly relations and cooperation bridges, expressing Kuwait's desire, as one of the largest global investors, to invest in Italy.

He stated that Italy's current economic problems are problems that affect the eurozone and the global economy and do not reflect the strong and solid foundations of the Italian economy. He affirmed Kuwait's great importance, especially to Italy, and its search for long-term investment opportunities there.

He highlighted the depth of bilateral relations in all fields, emphasizing the role of the Italian-Kuwaiti Friendship Association and the efforts of its president, Vani.

Dr. Mohammad began his speech with Italian phrases reflecting his happiness to be in Florence, which received great admiration from the audience. He said, "The award is an honor granted to me and my country, and I am proud of it."

He expressed his great appreciation for the position of Florence, with its civilization and stunning beauty, in front of the enthusiastic audience, quoting the famous phrase of Alexander the Great, "I came, I saw, I conquered," expressing his love for Florence, your country, and your people.

In turn, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini considered the granting of an honorary doctorate from the University of Perugia to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammad AlSabah as an appreciation for his significant diplomatic role on both regional and international levels and in enhancing the friendship that Italy aims to develop.

Frattini, who accompanied Dr. Mohammad AlSabah at the academic ceremony where they held a side meeting, also sees this prestigious scientific initiative as a culmination of a fruitful period in the bilateral relations between Italy and Kuwait, both politically and economically.

In the same context, he emphasized the "importance of exchanging views with all active figures in the regional mechanisms in the Gulf region, especially Kuwait," which he highly values for its outstanding commitment to enhancing relations with Italy at all levels and its active role within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

In this regard, the Italian Foreign Minister and former Deputy President of the European Commission expressed his hope that "the Gulf Cooperation Council would take further steps in building its relations with the European Union and enhance its role in managing regional crises," with Kuwait's support.

Symbolic Award

An official ceremony was held in one of the halls of the historical palace, chaired by the Mayor Eugenio Giani along with the President of the Friendship Association Vani and the advisor to the Prime Minister Kabano, to present the prestigious symbolic award to Dr. Mohammed AlSabah and the accompanying delegation, led by Kuwait's Ambassador to Italy Jaber Al-Duaij, Director of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed Al-Nasser, Kuwait's Ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina Mohammad Fadel Khalef, and to Greece Raed Abdullah Al-Rifai.

Vani welcomed the crowded ceremony, welcoming Dr. Mohammad AlSabah, explaining that Florence, in its peak brilliance and prosperity, is a center for the Renaissance era, sciences, and discoveries. It acknowledged Kuwait's presence, as recorded on one of the oldest maps displayed in the palace's "World Map" hall dating back to the 15th century AD, where he stopped during his tour, referring to the ancient history of Florence's relationship with Kuwait.

The Birth of the Friendship Association

It was mentioned that the relationship between Florence and Kuwait was established at a critical and dramatic moment in the history of the Arab country. Florence witnessed the birth of an Italian-Kuwaiti Friendship Association just a few days after the Iraqi invasion, through a spontaneous popular initiative to express practical and tangible solidarity in support of Kuwait's just cause.

In turn, Mayor Giani welcomed Dr. Mohammad and the Kuwaiti guests, particularly praising the active and continuous role of the president of the Friendship Association over the past two decades in enhancing the distinguished relations between Florence and Kuwait.

He highlighted the significant initiatives and events witnessed by the relations between Florence and Kuwait, where Florence, with its status, remained a high platform for Kuwaiti issues in Italy, Europe, and international forums, such as adopting the defense of prisoners' rights, as well as being a forum for political, cultural, economic relations, and people-to-people communication.

Giani emphasized the convergence of values and principles in many Kuwaiti positions in favor of freedom, democracy, and human rights, as well as during difficult times in combating global terrorism, making them an example.

On his part, Professor Antonio Cabano, the advisor to the Italian Prime Minister, expressed pride on behalf of the government in awarding this honorary award, which is limited to Italian and international figures who are honored to be friends of Florence.

Kuwait as an Example

Cabano pointed out the great position of Florence, not only as cultural and civilizational heritage of Italy but of the whole world. He stressed the significant position of Kuwait, despite its small geographical size, emphasizing what it represents as a major model of complete democracy in the Arab world.

He said that thanks to Kuwait's status as a beacon of democratic life in the Arab world, which is currently experiencing its spring, the Arab world can reap the fruits of its ambitions and aspirations towards freedom and dignity, "where Kuwait has indeed been living its Arab spring since its independence fifty years ago."


Source: Al-Qabas

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