The Euro-Gulf Monitor

11 - 17 June 2021

by

Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Arab League Foreign Ministers called on the UN Security Council to intervene in the GERD regional dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

  2. The UAE was elected for a two-years term to the UN Security Council.

  3. The US and Saudi Arabia agreed to collaborate in tackling climate change.

  4. Oman and France signed an MoU on military cooperation.

  5. EU’s High Representative, Josep Borrell, discussed EU’s commitment to solve the Yemen crisis with the country’s Foreign Minister, Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 13 June–Bahrain and the UAE announced a partnership on artificial intelligence training and on the development of a digital economy. The Nasser Vocational Training Center (NVTC) and UAE National Program for Artificial Intelligence (AI) signed a deal to cooperate on establishing virtual education and training systems, as well as on developing AI skills in their workforces.

State of Kuwait

Friday, 11 June–Kuwait and India signed a memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of Indian domestic workers in the country, regulating their recruitment and positions within the legal framework. The agreement also introduced regulations on rights and obligations, and the establishment of a bilateral committee that will review on the deal’s implementation.

Sultanate of Oman

Sunday, 13 June–Oman and France signed a deal for bilateral military cooperation, regulating and expanding the existing relations in defense between the two countries.

State of Qatar

Thursday, 17 June–Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, appointed Masoud bin Mohammed Al-Ameri as Minister of Justice.

 

Wednesday, 16 June–Qatar announced it will lift some of the precautionary measures previously instituted to halt the spread of COVID-19. Presence at work will be allowed for 80 percent of employees, and citizens will be allowed to go to public parks and beaches. Mosques will also be open for the daily and Friday prayers.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 17 June–Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet announced the combination of two pension and social insurance funds, the Public Pension Agency and the General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI), into a single entity with about $ 29 billion (USD) in local and foreign stocks. The measure comes as part of the Kingdom’s aim to enhance efficiency and reduce costs in order to boost its economic diversification process.

United Arab Emirates

Friday, 11 June–The UAE was elected for a two-year term to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), along with Albania, Brazil, Gabon and Ghana. The term will start on January 2022 until December 2023.

The EU Corner

Thursday, 10 June‒The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a meeting with Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, to discuss the ongoing conflict in the Gulf country. High Representative confirmed the EU commitment to find a durable resolution to the crisis, condemning violence and insisting on the importance of including all parties in the negotiations process.

 

Friday, 11 June‒Saudi Arabia and several EU countries established the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), a network aimed at strengthening cooperation in the field of cultural activities. Ambassadors from Austria, France, Spain, Italy and Czech Republic met in Riyadh to sign the EUNIC’s Charter, to develop Euro-Saudi artistic projects including opening museums, organizing cultural events, and establishing international partnership between artists.

Key Official Visits

Tuesday, 15 June–The Foreign Ministers the Arab League countries held a consultative meeting in Doha, discussing aspects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the positions between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. The group of 17 ministers urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the dispute in order to achieve a diplomatic solution. Several bilateral meetings were held on the sidelines of the event.

 

Tuesday, 15 June–Egypt’s Foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, visited Doha, holding separate meetings with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. The discussions focused on the reactivation of Egyptian-Qatari relations following the Al ‘Ula Summit and on the need for Arab coordination in tackling the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Wednesday, 16 June–The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, met in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud. The discussion covered aspects of the ‘Saudi Arabia Green Initiative’ and the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’, the need to implement the Paris Agreement, and the promotion of green initiatives during the G20 in Italy as well as in the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. The two sides agreed on extending cooperation on the development of clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and on improving private sector partnerships.

 

Tuesday, 15 June–The US Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderkin, held a two-days visit of Saudi Arabia, where he met with Saudi and Yemeni officials, as well as with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. The visit comes as part of the efforts to reach an agreement for a ceasefire in the country, in order to allow the transit of necessity good.

 

Wednesday, 16 June–The commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, General Austin Scott Miller, met in the Emirates with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. They discussed US-Emirati relations in the military field and developments in the region following the ongoing US and NATO withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.