The Euro-Gulf Monitor

2 - 8 July 2021

by

Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Saudi Arabia will invest $133 billion (USD) in its transport infrastructure by 2030.

  2. Qatar vowed to support Lebanon amid political and economic crisis.

  3. UAE’s ADNOC and three Japanese energy majors agreed to explore blue ammonia production in the UAE.

  4. Bahrain and Russia discussed bilateral ties and developments in East Mediterranean, Palestine and Syria.

  5. Oman seeks IMF’s technical assistance in strengthening its medium-term fiscal framework.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Thursday, 8 July–Bahrain’s main mobile network operator, Zain Bahrain, partnered with Swedish ITC company Ericsson to expand its 5G and 4G infrastructure. The deal comes as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy to increase network capacity and efficiency across the country.

State of Kuwait

Friday, 2 July–The United States State Department approved a potential sale of heavy tactical vehicles, manufactured by Oshkosh Defense, to Kuwait for $445 million (USD).

 

Sunday, 4 July–The state-owned Kuwait Oil Company cancelled the project to build two Jurassic production plants 6 and 7, estimated to cost around $1 billion (USD), due to spending cuts amid COVID-19.

Sultanate of Oman

Tuesday, 6 July–Oman requested the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) technical assistance in strengthening its medium-term fiscal framework. Following a visit to the Sultanate, the IMF staff stressed the need to boost structural reforms and steadfastly implement Oman’s Medium-Term Fiscal Plan in order to stimulate economic growth, reduce fiscal vulnerabilities and decrease debt.

State of Qatar

Wednesday, 7 July–Following a Beirut meeting between the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and the Lebanese Prime Minister-designate, Saad Hariri, and President, Michel Aoun, Qatar announced it will donate 70 tonnes of food to the Lebanese Army every month to support Lebanon amid political and economic crisis.

 

Thursday, 8 July—Qatar Petroleum signed a 15-year agreement to supply 1.25 million tons of liquified natural gas (LNG) per annum to Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corporation starting from January 2022.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saturday, 3 July–Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services announced that the Kingdom will invest about $133 billion (USD) in its transport infrastructure by the end of 2030. The measure is part of the recently launched National Transport and Logistic Strategy, which aims to transform Saudi Arabia into a logistics hub and further diversify its economy. 

 

Monday, 5 July–Saudi Arabia amended regulations on imports from the other GCC countries to exclude goods produced in free zones and goods manufactured by companies fully or partially owned by Israeli investors from special tariff concessions.

United Arab Emirates

Friday, 2 July—UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation began issuing work permits for holders of the long-term Golden Residency visas.

 

Thursday, 8 July—The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and three Japanese energy companies, INPEX Corporation, JERA and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), inked a joint study agreement to explore the commercial potential of blue amonnia production in the UAE.

The EU Corner

Sunday, 4 July–The Head of the EU Delegation to Kuwait, Cristian Tudor, held a meeting with Kuwait's Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab World Affairs, Fahad Al-Awadhi, to discuss the regional situation.

 

Monday, 5 July–The EU Counterterrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Waleed Elkhereiji, met in Riyadh to discuss ways to enhance cooperation.

 

Wednesday, 7 July–The Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, toured the Saudi province of Asir, to learn more about local natural and cultural heritage. During the visit, Ambassador Simmonet met with the Governor of Asir, Turki bin Talal Al-Saud, who explained the region’s importance for the Saudi tourism sector, and with the Rector of the King Khalid University, Saleh Al-Solami, with whom he discussed cooperation in education.

Key Official Visits

Friday, 2 July–Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow. The two sides discussed aspects of regional security, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean area, Syria and Palestine. The talks also covered bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology. Minister Lavrov also highlighted Russia’s intent to revise the concept of collective security in the Gulf.

Tuesday, 6 July– The UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, received a delegation from Vatican, which included the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi. The meeting focused on  bilateral relations and cooperation in promoting religious tolerance and peace, stressing the relevance of the Document on Human Fraternity, signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in 2019.

Tuesday, 6 July–Qatar’s Special Envoy for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, met with Afghanistan’s First Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, in Kabul. They discussed developments in the country and the Afghan peace talks hosted by Doha.

Wednesday, 7 July–Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Khalid bin Salman Al-Saud, travelled to Washington, where he met with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan. The discussion covered aspects of regional security, particularly the prospects of political solution in Yemen and the need for economic reforms in Lebanon.