GULF IN REVIEW
02-07 February 2020
Kingdom of Bahrain
Monday, 3 February—Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa inaugurated Bahrain’s Embassy in Rome, Italy. He later held talks with Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, on strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation. Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa and his Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, discussed bilateral relations and issues of common concern, notably Iran and Libya. A number of agreements were signed on the occasion, notably in the fields of energy, air services, health, civil space cooperation and exports.
Thursday, 6 February—Bahrain’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Hisham bin Mohammed Al-Jowder led the Kingdom’s delegation to the 105th Meeting of the Economic and Social Committee, held in Cairo, which discussed the Greater Arab Freee Trade Proposal, Arab Customs Union, joint Arab developmental action, along with Arab social and development cooperation with China and India.
Friday, 7 February—Dr Nasser Mohammad Al-Belooshi presented his credentials to Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, as Bahrain’s first Ambassador to Italy, residing in Rome.
State of Kuwait
Saturday, 1 February—Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf from Kuwait, replaced Abdullatif Al-Zayani as the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) headquartered in Riyadh. He vowed to continue the GCC’s current course, strengthen its unity and advance the Gulf cohesion.
Wednesday, 5 February—A Kuwaiti delegation, led by Talal Al-Mutairi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights, participated in the first informal dialogue on human rights with the European Union at the headquarters of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels.
Sultanate of Oman
Sunday, 2 February—On the sidelines of the extraordinary Arab League Ministerial Council Meeting that discussed the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ announced by the United States’ Administration, Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, held talks with President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Yusuf bin Alawi stressed the support for the Palestinians and said that the US plan is viewed as non-final version, which can serve as a mechanism and its ideas can be modified or complemented.
Monday, 3 February—Oman and Finland held a round of political talks in the Sultanate, focused on bilateral relations, ways to enhance them, and regional as well as international issues. Finland’s Undersecretary for Foreign and Security Policies at the Foreign Ministry, Kai Sauer, also met separately with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, to talk about advancing cooperation in various fields, notably political, economic and cultural, and regional issues of common concern.
State of Qatar
Tuesday, 4 February—Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, and India’s Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, reviewed bilateral relations and cooperation in the field of defence and how to advance them.
Tuesday, 4 February—Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held talks with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, in Ankara. They discussed their bilateral relations and ways to develop them, along with the latests regional developments of common concern.
Wednesday, 5 February—The Chief of Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ghanim bin Shaheen Al-Ghanim, met with the Commander of the Turkish Navy, Admiral Adnan Ozbal, in Doha, and discussed their strategic partnership and military cooperation and ways to develop them.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Monday, 3 February—The Open-Ended Extraordinary Meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Executive Committee at the Level of Foreign Ministers met in Jeddah to the discuss the implications of the United States’ so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’ announced on 28 January. The meeting adopted a resolution, rejecting the plan and calling upon all OIC member states not to deal with the plan and not to assist the US in its enforcement.
Monday, 3 February—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz received Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. They discussed bilateral relations and ways to develop them in various fields as well as regional developments. Later, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, also held talks with the Greek Prime Minister. Greece seeks to expand bilateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE beyond economic field, to security.
Thursday, 6 February—Algeria’s President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, received Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, in Algiers. They discussed bilateral relations, coordination on issues related to the Arab and Islamic interests, as well as the latest regional developments, with Libya high on the agenda. Prince Faisal bin Farhan delivered an invitation from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to the Algerian President to visit Saudi Arabia.
Thursday, 6 February—Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport signed an agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One to study the feasibility of the hyperloop technology for transport in Saudi Arabia. They will consider developing a wide network of hyperloop routes across the Kingdom, which could be more effective and eco-friendly than short haul flights and high-speed trains.
United Arab Emirates
Sunday, 2 February—President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, held talks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in the UAE. They discussed enhancing bilateral ties and cooperation in various fields and agreed to consult on regional issues. The leaders witnessed the signing of several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, notably in security and military fields, education, mutual visa waiver, investments and development. The UAE pledged to allocate $2 billion (USD) for investment and development projects in Mauritania.
Monday, 3 February—Almost 80 trillion standard cubic feet (TSCF) of shallow organic gas was discovered between the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Emirates. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) signed an agreement to further explore and develop the shallow gas resources in the area.
Tuesday, 4 February—Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. They agreed to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership and set up joint task forces to enhance bilateral cooperation.
Thursday, 6 February—UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Luxembourg's Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, held talks about the latest regional developments, including in relation to Libya and Iran, and developing cooperation in various fields. Foreign Minister Asselborn also spoke as guest of honour at 14th UAE Ambassadors’ Forum in Abu Dhabi, highlighting the potential of the UAE and Luxembourg to act as honest brokers in multilateral negotiations to ensure peace and security.