Kuwait City (AFP) - The EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Sunday the bloc is increasing its engagement in the Middle East, as she opened a new mission in Kuwait City.
The office in Kuwait's tallest skyscraper is the third such EU mission in the Gulf, after Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
"This also sends a message to the whole region; the European Union is increasing its presence and engagement in the Middle East," Mogherini said at the opening ceremony.
"What happens to the Gulf matters to Europe and what happens to Europe matters to the Gulf," she added.
The ceremony in the Al Hamra Tower, which is also home to the French embassy, was attended by Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.
The opening, decided several months ago, comes amid a tense standoff between the United States and Iran which has affected the Gulf.
"In a moment of regional and global tensions, Kuwait is a voice of wisdom and force of peace and this is what made us natural partners," Mogherini said.
Kuwait has strong relations with Brussels and Washington and, unlike Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it maintains good ties with Tehran.