The State of Kuwait and the Republic of Vanuatu late on Thursday signed a joint declaration of establishing diplomatic ties. According to Kuwait’s KUNA news agency, the step comes as a mutual desire to boost the bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of both countries in the political, economic, cultural fields at the national and international levels. The joint declaration was signed by the Kuwaiti permanent delegate to the UN, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, and the Ambassador of Vanuatu, Donald Kalpokas. The Republic of Vanuatu became independent from the United Kingdom and France in 1980. The country’s capital is Port Vila. Its population is estimated at 224,564, according to a 2011 census. Its area is 12,190 km2.