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October 18, 1982

State Visit by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and Chairman of the State Council of the GDR, Erich Honecker, to Kuwait from 16 to 18 October 1982

This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

State Visit by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and Chairman of the State Council of the GDR, Erich Honecker, to Kuwait from 16 to 18 October 1982


During the visit to Kuwait Comrade Erich Honecker had extensive talks with the Emir of Kuwait (Appendix 6) and the Crown Prince (Appendix 7).

G. Mittag, O. Fischer, and G. Beil held talks with their partners, the Minister of Finance, the Foreign Minister, and the Foreign Trade Minister and Oil Minister.

As a result of the meeting, a communique was agreed and the following documents signed:

- Agreement about the economic, industrial, and scientific-technological cooperation between the Government of the German Democratic Republic and the Government of the State of Kuwait, and

- the Agreed Protocol about the further development of economic cooperation between the German Democratic Republic and the State of Kuwait

The talks were first held in a setting with both delegations and proceeded in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. There was wide agreement on political basic issues, the assessment of the international situation, the question of peace and security, as well as on the situation in the Middle East and in Europe.

The Emir of Kuwait noted there does exist a solid foundation for the development of relations, and that there are no problems whatsoever that could potentially hinder their further development. Based on this wide agreement, it is possible and necessary to deepen the relations.

E. Honecker and the Kuwaiti Emir emphasized that relations, in particular in the economic area, are supposed to be developed on the foundation of the principle of mutual benefit. From the side of the Emir and other meeting partners the interest was expressed to expand the economic relations.


E. Honecker thanked for the cordial welcome and conveyed the greetings of the citizens of the GDR as well as from the party and state leadership. He acknowledged the long-existing friendly relations between the GDR and Kuwait. Kuwait was one of the first Arab countries establishing diplomatic relations with the GDR. The policy of Kuwait, its development, and its role in the world is closely followed in the GDR. E. Honecker emphasized that there are common positions from which both sides are assessing international relations. This does especially concern the question of securing the peace and the development in the Middle and Near East. E. Honecker informed that the the GDR does fully support the 6 principles for solving the Middle East conflict as proposed by L. I. Brezhnev. It is considering the decisions by the conference of the heads of states in Fez [translator’s note: the Arab summit conference held in Fez, Morocco, from 6 to 8 October 1982]. as an important foundation for the resolution of these issues. He [Honecker] explained the known position of the GDR regarding the war between Iraq and Iran.

E. Honecker characterized the situation in Europe and the situation in the FRG [West Germany] with regard to the consequences of the change in government there[1]. Despite all criticism of the FRG, E. Honecker emphasized the intention of the GDR to proceed in the spirit of the meeting at Lake Werbellin.[2]

Following a remark by the Emir regarding the guarantee of a balanced policy, E. Honecker stated the respective willingness of the GDR. However, “the best cannot live in peace, if the evil neighbor does not like it”.

There are no issues of dispute in bilateral relations. Favorable conditions do exist to develop them further. E. Honecker underlined the determination of the GDR to contribute to that effect with all one’s strength.

The Emir let know that he got informed by L. I. Brezhnev about his proposals. He thinks they are suited to contribute towards the resolution of the Middle East problem together with the decisions by the summit in Fez. He does not see any differences between these proposals and the decisions from Fez. They can serve as the foundation to pursue joint actions.

The Emir informed about the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council. He expressed his concern about the Iraq-Iran war which could result in an inference by the major powers. He expressed his interest in the position of the GDR towards the FRG.

During the course of the visit, the Emir emphasized to both delegations as well as to E. Honecker in private that he is able to state with satisfaction that with this state visit the friendly relations between the GDR and Kuwait will be furthered. He is already now looking forward to his visit to the GDR.


As a result of the state visit, an agreement about the economic, industrial, and scientific-technological cooperation as well as an Agreed Protocol about the development and deepening of economic cooperation between the GDR and the State of Kuwait was signed.

The signing of the agreement was done by Comrade Mittag and the Kuwaiti Ministers for Finances and Planning. The Agreed Protocol was signed by Comrade Beil and the Ministers for Trade and Industry of Kuwait.

With the agreement about economic cooperation, the foundations were agreed for the development of economic relations, in particular in such areas as industry, construction, transportation and communication and electrification, as well as pertaining to the joint implementation of projects in third markets.

In the Agreed Protocol, determinations were made reading the increase of exports from the GDR to Kuwait, including the transfer of technologies and Know How, the training of Kuwaiti cadres in the GDR, and the delegation of GDR experts.

In a talk that Comrade Mittag had with the Minister for Finance and Planning and the Minister for Trade and Industry, measures were discussed for the rapid expansion of economic relations with Kuwait as well as through Kuwait with the states of the Gulf Region.

In a meeting with leading representatives from the industry and trade of Kuwait, the intentions of the GDR were explained and it was discussed how they could be implemented with the help of those influential circles.


The Kuwaiti media and the press, which communicate from Kuwait into the Gulf, dealt with E. Honecker’s visit and the talks with the Emir in extensive reports and commentaries. The GDR was introduced as an industrial state and interesting partner. Its policy of peace was acknowledged and the economic strength explained. It got emphasized that the GDR is standing on the side of the Arab peoples in the struggle against Israel and that the GDR is supporting the Palestinian people and the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] with solidarity.

The media emphasized the importance of the visit for the further development of relations between the GDR and Kuwait and with other gulf states.


[1] Translator’s note: on 17 October 1982 Helmut Kohl from the CDU/CSU replaced Helmut Schmidt from the SPD as Federal Chancellor.

[2] Translator’s note: a lake north of Berlin (Werbellinsee) where Erich Honecker received in his Jagdschloss [hunting lodge] Hubertusstock West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt for talks on 11 December 1981.

A summary of meetings held between Erich Honecker and other GDR officials with the Emir of Kuwait.

Document Information


SAPMO-BA, J IV 2/201/1446. Translated by Bernd Schaefer


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