The Euro-Gulf Monitor
21 - 27 May 2021
Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani
5 Top Points
Helios Industry will invest $1 billion (USD) in a major ‘green’ ammonia production facility in Abu Dhabi, ADNOC progresses with ‘blue’ ammonia plant in Ruwais.
Qatar will provide $500 million (USD) for Gaza’s reconstruction.
Bahrain and Sweden will cooperate on establishing a knowledge platform for water sector policies.
Saudi Arabia and Russia eye new areas of cooperation, such as hydrogen and outer space missions.
Oman and Turkey’s Gebze Organised Industrial Zone sign cooperation to attract Turkish investments to the Special Economic Zone at Duqm.
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tuesday, 25 May–Bahrain’s National and Gas Authority (NOGA) inked a deal with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) for the establishment of a knowledge platform dedicated to the water sector in Bahrain, aiming to support government bodies’ decision-making with data analysis tools.
State of Kuwait
Wednesday, 26 May–Kuwait’s Parliament was again forcibly suspended following protests from the opposition. Two Parliamentarians occupied Ministers’ seats, leading the National Assembly Speaker, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, to suspend the session and adjourn to 8 June.
Sultanate of Oman
Monday, 24 May–Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion signed a cooperation programme with a delegation from Turkey’s Gebze Organised Industrial Zone to attract Turkish investments to the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. The investments will focus on mining, petrochemicals, food and logistics.
State of Qatar
Wednesday, 26 May–Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, announced that the country will provide $500 million (USD) to reconstruction projects in Gaza, following the ceasefire with Israel.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, 25 May–Saudi Arabia and Russia discussed further areas of economic and technical cooperation during the 7th Joint Saudi-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which agreed to implement the second step of a roadmap defined in 2019. Hydrogen production and the progress on a Saudi-Russian joint manned space mission, were among the reviewed areas.
United Arab Emirates
Sunday, 23 May—The UAE offered to host COP 28 in Abu Dhabi in 2023.
Tuesday, 25 May–The Abu Dhabi-based company, Helios Industry, announced it will invest $1 billion (USD) in the establishment of the UAE’s first green ammonia production facility in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. The plant should produce about 200,000 tonnes of green ammonia from hydrogen using renewable energy. A day earlier, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced progress in developing a blue ammonia facility in the Ruwais Derivatives Park
The EU Corner
Sunday, 23 May—A diplomatic meeting about the ongoing conflict in Yemen was held in Riyadh. It was attended by the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, the Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, and by Representatives of Belgium, France, Finland, Spain and Sweden, who discussed ways to end the crisis.
Tuesday, 25 May—The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) resumed its work in a physical format in Vienna. The 5th round of negotiations to discuss the US return to the JCPOA was chaired by the Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora.
Tuesday, 25 May—The Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, visited the Al-Qassim Province to promote trade between the area and the EU. During the visit, Ambassador Simonnet met with the Qassim Chamber President, Abdulaziz Al-Hamid, to discuss economic exchanges and investments, and visited several companies and organisations, such as the Salam Veterinary and the largest palm tree farm in the world.
Key Official Visits
Monday, 24 May–The British Minister for Middle East & North Africa, James Cleverly, travelled to Kuwait, where he met with Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. They discussed the UK-Kuwait Steering Group, cooperation in energy and commerce and regional issues, notably Yemen, Iran and Palestine.
Monday, 24 May–Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, toured Sudan, Libya and Egypt. In Khartoum, he met with Chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and focused on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Libya and Chad. In Tripoli, he reiterated Qatar’s support to the Government of National Unity in talks with his Libyan counterpart, Najla Al-Mangoush. In Cairo, Minister Al-Thani, accompanied by Qatar’s Intelligence Chief, Abdullah Al-Khulaifi, discussed security issues, enhancing Qatar-Egypt relations and Arab unity with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, extending him an invitation to visit Doha.
Tuesday, 25 May–Bahrain’s Minister of Interior, Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, was received by the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, in London. They discussed reinforcing security cooperation, particularly regarding the implementation of open prison experiences and the use of modern technology to counter terrorism.
Wednesday, 26 May–Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Prince Khalid bin Salman Al-Saud, held separate talks with US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, and UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, in Riyadh. They discussed the recent developments in Yemen and joint efforts to support a political resolution of the conflict.
Wednesday, 26 May–Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, was received in Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, in Nairobi. They discussed cooperation in security and efforts to tackle conflicts in Africa, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.