The Euro-Gulf Monitor

22 – 28
October 2021

by

Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Saudi Arabia hosted the first edition of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.

  2. Doha hosted China-Taliban talks, focused on terrorism and security. 

  3. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia announced they aim for carbon neutrality by 2060.

  4. Oman entered the satellite production business through a partnership with Italy.

  5. Qatar will amend its citizenship law against excessive tribalism.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 24 October–Bahrain announced it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2060. The announcement followed a similar declaration made by Saudi Arabia on the same day. The UAE also pledged previously this month that it will achieve the same objective by 2050.

State of Kuwait

Wednesday, 27 October–The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) declared it will invest in the projects related to the energy sector announced by Saudi Arabia during the Middle East Green Initiative Summit. Financial details were not disclosed.

Sultanate of Oman

Wednesday, 27 October–The Omani tech company, International Emerging Technology Company (ETCO), and the Italian space infrastructure company, D-Orbit, signed a deal to produce satellite parts in the Sultanate. It is the first agreement regarding satellite production for Oman, and it provisions investments in the space sector as well as the development of local competencies for the space industry through know-how transfer from Italy.

State of Qatar

Tuesday, 26 October–Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani instructed Doha’s Government to amend the country’s citizenship law. According to the country’s ruler, the current law halts equal citizenship and favours tribalism, which endangers national unity. The Emir made the remarks at the opening session of the first majority elected Shura Council.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Monday, 25 October–Saudi Arabia hosted the first Middle East Green Initiative Summit. During the event, Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, announced internationally-funded initiatives worth about €9 billion (EUR) and several new projects, including setting up a Green Initiative Foundation and a regional center for climate change. On Saturday, the Kingdom launched the Saudi Green Initiative Forum in Riyadh, announcing it will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060. The event gathered high-ranking officials from the United States, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia and Russia, among others.

United Arab Emirates

Wednesday, 27 October–Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Emirates’ national energy company, announced it will power its entire power grid with nuclear and solar energy sources. The decision follows the Emirates’ announcement that it will seek net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The EU Corner

 

Tuesday, 26 October–The EU Working Group on Foreign Policy Instruments and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held a meeting in Riyadh. The gathering aimed at setting the priorities of the EU-GCC partnership in the political, economic, security, education and environmental field. The implementation of the common goals was discussed, considering the recommendations of the Joint Cooperation Committee and the Political Dialogue Committee.

 

Wednesday, 27 October–The EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, visited Saudi Arabia and the UAE to discuss regional developments. In Riyadh,  Koopmans, along with the Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud. In the UAE, the EU Representative held talks with the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, and the Adviser to the President, Anwar Mohammed Gargash.

Key Official Visits

Tuesday, 26 October–China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, was received by his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, during his two-day visit in Doha. They discussed developments in Afghanistan and cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Chinese Minister also met a Taliban delegation from Afghanistan. Talks focused on security, particularly on Beijing’s requests to the interim Taliban government to break with the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

Tuesday, 26 October–Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, in Riyadh. The two sides agreed to establish a bilateral Supreme Council of Cooperation, and expand ties in the energy and defence sectors. The Saudi Crown Prince highlighted the expansion of bilateral military cooperation in light of Athens’ delivery of Patriot missile systems to the Kingdom in September 2021.

Wednesday, 27 October–Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa met with UAE Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in the Emirates. They discussed regional developments as well as Bahraini-Emirati relations.

Wednesday, 27 October–Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Linhart, visited Doha, meeting with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation technology and renewable energy, as well as international issues such as Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear deal.