The Euro-Gulf Monitor

15 - 21 July 2022

by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. US President, Joe Biden, concluded his first tour of the Middle East.

  2. Kuwait appointed its fourth Prime Minister since 2020.

  3. The Presidents of the UAE and France met in Paris to discuss expanding energy cooperation.

  4. Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co invested €229 million in a major European fund manager.

  5. The EU called on the warring parties in Yemen to agree on a truce extension.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Saturday, 16 July–Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held  the first meeting  since 2017 on the sidelines of the Jeddah Summit in Saudi Arabia.Following the meeting, Bahrain lifted its travel ban on Qatari nationals and lifted visa requirements for Qatari citizens who wish to enter the Kingdom.

State of Kuwait

Tuesday, 19 July–Kuwait’s Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah decreed the appointment of Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah as the country’s new Prime Minister, tasked with forming the new Cabinet. He is Kuwait’s fourth  appointed Prime Minister since 2020 amid a parliamentary standoff. He previously served as the country’s Foreign Minister (2003 -2011) and Deputy Prime Minister (2006-2011).

Sultanate of Oman

Friday, 15 July–Norwegian global ammonia operator, Yara International ASA, will purchase  100,000 metric tons of green ammonia per year produced by a consortium of Indian green energy firm, ACME Group, and the Oslo-based renewable energy producer, Scatec ASA, in the Sultanate’s Special Economic Zone of Duqm.  The green ammonia will be then used to produce green fertiliser and to help decarbonise shipping and power production sectors.

State of Qatar

Thursday, 21 July–The US aerospace giant, Boeing, and Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways, signed a deal for the purchase of 50 Boeing 737 Max 10. The contract was signed at the Farnborough Airhshow, the biennial aerospace exhibition held in the UK, and comes as Doha seeks to expand its freight in a bid to become a touristic and transportation hub.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 21 July–Saudi investment holding company, Kingdom Holding Co., announced it will invest €229 million (EUR) in one of the largest European fund manager firms, British M&G PLC. The investment seeks to diversify the holding’s global portfolio through new sectors, which include M&G’s insurance and asset management activities.

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 17 July–The UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, announced the establishment of a €820 million (EUR)  fund to support the  UAE space programme and the development of a synthetic aperture radar satellite constellation. The new fund will boost cooperation between local and international companies operating in the space sector in a bid to transfer skills and technologies and to help diversify the country’s economy.

The EU Corner

Thursday, 14 July‒The Heads of the Missions of Bahrain and of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the European Union (EU), Abdulla bin Faisal bin Jabur Al-Doser and Mohamed Alsahlawi Al-Ali, respectively, presented their credentials to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

 

Tuesday, 19 July‒The EU reaffirmed its support for the ongoing truce in Yemen and called on all parties to agree on a six-month extension of the truce after 2 August. The EU also called on the Ansar Allah to accept the latest proposal by the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to reopen roads around the city of Taiz as an essential measure for providing humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people.

Key Official Visits

Saturday, 16 July–US President, Joe Biden, concluded his four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, discussing energy and food security, Israeli-Arab relations, the conflict in Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear file and the regional influence of Russia and China. In Jeddah, President Biden participated in the Arab Summit that gathered leaders of the GCC, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. On the sidelines of the event, the US President met with Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, to discuss US-Saudi ties, the global energy market and the war in Yemen. On the occasion, the US and Saudi Arabia signed 13 investment agreements in the areas of energy, aerospace, defence, manufacturing, education and tourism.

 

Tuesday, 19 July–Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, toured Japan and South Korea. In Tokyo, the Saudi Minister was received by his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida. They agreed to cooperate on stabilising the global energy market and to explore partnerships in the fields of green energy, environment, infrastructure and tourism. In Seoul, the Saudi Minister and South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, discussed collaboration in nuclear energy, construction and culture. The talks also covered the nuclear programmes of North Korea and Iran.

 

Wednesday, 20 July–The UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met with French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris. The two leaders signed a deal to advance joint investments in the sectors of hydrogen, renewable and nuclear energy. They also discussed strategic partnership in security, defence, technology, space, culture and education. On the sidelines of the meeting, the French energy giant, Total Energies, and the Emirati oil firm, ADNOC, signed a deal to expand Emirati diesel supplies to France.