Speech by HH Amir of the State of Kuwait
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabahat a Banquet hosted by
the Lord Mayor of London Guildhall, 28 November 2012


My dear Friend Roger Gifford
Lord Mayor of London
Your Royal Highness, the Duke of York
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, I would like to express my deep thanks to you, Lord Mayor, and to the City of London Corporation for your Address of Welcome. I am grateful to the Recorder, Judge Peter Beaumont, for delivering the address; and for your generous gift of a casket containing the document. This will serve as a permanent – and very special – reminder of my visit to the United Kingdom, and London in particular.

London is one of the great cities of the world. Its great buildings, parks and squares, and many streets tell of a 2,000 year history. At the heart of that story – and of London – is “The Square Mile”. Today, as in the past, the City of London is a source of much of the nation’s vitality and economic strength.

London is one of the most visited cities in the world. It draws visitors from around the globe – not least, from my own country, Kuwait. The Kuwaiti people have come to this magnificent city for many years – as tourists, on business, as students, or to benefit from some of the world-class services, in health for example, that London provides.

It is a city which combines the nobility of the past with a dazzling range of skills, products and services which are very much of the present – and of the future. In addition to being one of the most important business and finance hubs in the world, it contains ancient historical sites, fantastic tourist venues, advanced medical expertise and highly regarded professional institutions and Universities, of international repute.

This is all part of what London, and UK, has to offer to the world. This was vividly expresses in the great success of the Olympic and Paralympics games last summer. I watched the Games, especially the opening and closing ceremonies, with great admiration; but I was conscious that here also was a global spectacle, which delighted and inspired the whole world. I would like to congratulate you for the success of these Games and for the results achieved by the British sportsmen and women, who harvested numerous medals and in so doing achieved a record of Olympic success unmatched in modern times.

The success in organizing the games, and the achievements of Team GB, did not come from thin air. It was the product of a huge national and local effort, brought together in a great common endeavor. It will long live in our memories.

We, in Kuwait, look forward to cementing the friendly relations which we enjoy with your country. We also seek to strengthen our investment Authority, which was established in 1953 in London, and later expanded into continental Europe. During my visit, I look forward to celebrating with you the six decades that have passed since this body was established. There is no doubting the important role that this office plays in developing British-Kuwaiti relations.

In conclusion, Lord Mayor, I want to thank you for your warm welcome and generous hospitality. For my part, I wish you continued good health and happiness; and I hope that the City Corporation, and all who reside or work within its boundaries, will continue to uphold the Square Mile as a powerhouse of excellence and innovation.

عربي French