Kuwait grants Bahrain $1.3 billion to finance projects

Bahrain Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed al Khalifa (L) and Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Sabah exchange portfolios after the two Gulf Cooperation Council countries signed agreements in Kuwait City April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stephanie Mcgehee

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait said on Wednesday it will finance projects worth $1.3 billion (992 million euros) in its Gulf partner Bahrain as part of pledges made two years ago, an official statement said.

The funds will be used to finance part of four development projects over the next few years, including power transmission networks, housing projects and a key road, the state-owned Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development said.

KFAED officials signed the agreements with visiting Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa.

Bahrain and Kuwait are members of the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

At a meeting in Riyadh in March 2011, the six GCC states decided to establish a $20-billion fund to finance development projects in Bahrain and Oman, which have limited energy resources.

The measure was taken in the wake of protests that swept several countries as part of the Arab Spring, which also hit Bahrain and to a lesser extent Oman.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and UAE each pledged $5 billion, and the grants are to be spent over a 10-year period.





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