During a press conference on Wednesday, Matthew Lodge, the British ambassador to Kuwait, said that his country bears responsibility for defending Kuwait and its allies against any threat launched by the Islamic State organisation, Anadolu news agency reported.
In his first news conference since taking office, the news agency quoted Lodge as saying that: “We are working very closely with the Kuwaiti government, especially both the defence and interior ministries, in this regard.”
In response to a question regarding the threat that the Islamic State poses to Kuwait, he said “there are secret talks underway between the two countries in this field, especially as many of our citizens live in Kuwait and it is one of our jobs as an embassy towards them.”
However, Lodge denied that the British naval vessels in Gulf waters are intended for fighting against the Islamic State, explaining that they “are there based on a cooperation agreement concluded with the countries of the region”.
In other news, he noted that, “British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has recently visited countries in the region to discuss the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation.”
This week Fallon made a Gulf tour that included Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Lodge added, “We appreciate the cooperation of our allies in the region and we are very worried about Islamic State threats, which are not considered threats to the region only, but threats to various areas of the world.”
The British ambassador further explained that, “Britain is part of the international coalition for fighting the Islamic State, in addition to the humanitarian operations in Iraq and aiding the government of Haider Al-Abadi,” adding, “we welcome any participation from the friendly countries in this war.”
Lodge also expressed concern about the affiliation of some Brits with the Islamic State, saying that, “When they return to our country, they will constitute a threat to us with London being a global city and a destination for all nationalities.”
Meanwhile, he praised Kuwaiti-British relations in the field of military cooperation, which he described as very powerful.
Ambassador Lodge took office as the UK ambassador to Kuwait at the end of August, succeeding Ambassador Frank Baker.
The Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Khalid Al-Jarallah, confirmed in a press statement the significance of Kuwait’s participation in the international US-led coalition against the Islamic State.
He said, on the sidelines of the Saudi National Day reception, that: “The role of Kuwait is limited to the logistical and humanitarian areas.”
The ISIS organization was first established in Iraq following the American occupation of the country in March, 2003, and extended its influence to Syria after the outbreak of the popular revolution there in the middle of March 2011.
For more than three months, ISIS has dominated large areas of eastern Syria and in the north and west of Iraq, including Mosul, as it announced, last June, the establishment of what it called the “Caliphate State”, declaring its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi himself the “Khalifa,” and urging Muslims to follow him as their leader.
With the growing strength of ISIS, the United States announced that it has mobilized more than 40 states, both regional and western, for an alliance on the hope of defeating ISIS.
The United States and members of the international coalition have started, on Tuesday, launching attacks on ISIS locations in Syria. Syrian opposition coalitions and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based human rights organization which considers itself an independent one, announced that at least 130 people, most of them of are fighters who belong to ISIS and other “terrorist” organizations, were killed in a dozen airstrikes that targeted the sites of those organizations in each of Deir El-Zor, Al-Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib in Syria.