History in Brief:|
Kuwait was notably the first member of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to develop diplomatic ties with the Holy See (Vatican City State). Official diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the State of Kuwait were formalized on 21 October 1968. For the next two decades, the Apostolic Nuncios in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon and Iraq, were also alternatively accredited to the State of Kuwait: Archbishop Alfredo Bruniera from 1969 to 1975, Archbishop Jean Rupp from 1975 to 1978, Archbishop Antonio del Giudice from 1978 to 1982, Archbishop Luigi Conti from 1983 to 1987, Archbishop Marian Oles from 1987 to 1991, Archbishop Pablo Puente Buces from 1993 to 1997 and Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliņ from 1997 to 1999.
In the year 2000, a new Apostolic Nunciature was permanently established in Kuwait to cover all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
Over the years, four other countries of the Arabian Peninsula formally established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in the following order: the Republic of Yemen on 13 October 1998, the Kingdom of Bahrain on 12 January 2000, the State of Qatar on 18 November 2002 and the United Arab Emirates on 31 May 2007.
The remaining two countries of the Arabian Gulf region, namely, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have not yet established formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See and therefore comprise the territories of the Apostolic Delegation.
On 13 December 1999, Reverend Monsignor Giuseppe De Andrea was appointed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II as "Chargé d'Affaires with Letters" of the Apostolic Nunciature in Kuwait, Yemen and Bahrain, and of the Apostolic Delegation of the Arabian Peninsula. Consequently, on 18 January 2000, Msgr. De Andrea arrived in Kuwait to assume his duties.
A year and a half later, on 28 June 2001, His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed Rev. Monsignor Giuseppe De Andrea as Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Yemen and Bahrain as well as Apostolic Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, raising him at the same time to the episcopacy. Hence, Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea became the first resident Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait and he retired on 27 August 2005.
The second resident Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as Apostolic Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, was Archbishop Paul-Mounged El-Hachem, who was appointed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on 27 August 2005 and whose term of duty lasted until his retirement on 2 December 2009.