The Euro-Gulf Monitor

23 - 29 September 2022

by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Germany and the UAE signed LNG deal during Chancellor Scholz's Gulf tour.

  2. Pope Francis announced he will visit Bahrain in November.

  3. The UAE and Oman inked a €3 billion deal for a cross-border railway.

  4. The EU and GCC discussed security, climate change and Iran’s nuclear file.

  5. French energy giant, TotalEnergies, invested €1.5 billion in Qatar’s LNG plant.

وقعت ألمانيا والإمارات صفقة للغاز الطبيعي المسال خلال جولة المستشارة شولز في الخليج

 

       أعلن البابا فرنسيس أنه سيزور البحرين في نوفمبر

 

 وقعت الإمارات وسلطنة عمان صفقة بقيمة 3 مليارات يورو لخط سكة حديد عابر للحدود

 

 ناقش الاتحاد الأوروبي ومجلس التعاون الخليجي قضايا الأمن والتغير المناخي والملف النووي الإيراني

 

استثمرت شركة توتال إنيرجي الفرنسية العملاقة للطاقة 1.5 مليار يورو في مصنع الغاز الطبيعي المسال في قطر 

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Monday, 19 September–Pope Francis announced he will visit Bahrain in November 2022. He will be the first Head of the Catholic Church to visit the Kingdom, attending the ‘Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence,’ held between 3 to 6 November.

State of Kuwait

Thursday, 29 September—Kuwait opened 123 polling stations for the national parliamentary elections. Kuwaitis will elect 50 members of the National Assembly out of 305 total candidates, which include 22 women. The elections follow a year of parliamentary instability and the chamber’s dissolution by the Crown Prince, Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in August 2022.

Sultanate of Oman

Monday, 26 September—The ‘Oman Health Exhibition and Conference’ kicked off in Muscat, gathering 150 international firms from 16 countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, India and the UAE. The event is part of the Sultanate’s Vision 2040 objectives to enhance the healthcare technology sector and exchange entrepreneurship experiences in order to develop its national economy.

State of Qatar

Saturday, 24 September–The French energy giant, TotalEnergies, purchased a 9.4% stake in Qatar’s North Field South liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in a €1.5 billion (EUR) deal. The French firm became the country’s major international partner, in a move that seeks to bolster Qatar’s LNG production and exports to Europe.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 27 September‒Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, was appointed Prime Minister, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle decreed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. Former Deputy Defence Minister, Khalid bin Salman Al-Saud, was appointed Defence Minister.

United Arab Emirates

Wednesday, 28 September–The UAE and Oman signed 16 deals regarding transport, finance, and technology, including a €3 billion agreement to build a cross-border railway. The two countries will establish a joint company named ‘Oman-Etihad Rail Company’ that will design a 303 kilometres-long route between Sohar and Abu Dhabi. Oman and the Emirates will also establish a €170 million worth joint fund for technology investment. The deals were signed during a meeting between UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, in Muscat.

EU Corner

Thursday, 22 September–The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, met with GCC representatives on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. They discussed the new EU strategy for the region, opportunities to increase collaboration in security and climate change, as well as the Iranian nuclear file and implications for Gulf security. The meeting included Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, as well as Oman’s UN Permanent Representative, Mohammed Al-Hassan, and the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar.

 

Wednesday, 28 September–The EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, Patrick Simonnet, met with Bahrain’s Chief of the Human Rights Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Arwa Al-Sayed, to discuss EU-Bahrain cooperation on the human rights file.

 

Wednesday, 28 September–The Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora, travelled to Qatar for a meeting with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi. They discussed Qatar-EU political consultations, developments in Ukraine, and the African file.

Key Official Visits

Saturday, 24 September—German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, held a two-day tour of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, in a bid to secure energy deals as Berlin seeks to replace Russian energy imports. In Riyadh, Scholz met with Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, discussing human rights, Ukraine and energy cooperation. In Abu Dhabi, the German leader and the Emirati President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, inked a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal that will see the Emirates supply 137 thousand cubic meters of LNG to German utility RWE in 2022. In Doha, Scholz was received by Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, discussing gas and hydrogen cooperation.

 

Saturday, 24 September—The US Special Envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, in Jeddah. They discussed US-Saudi cooperation in solving the Yemeni crisis, as well as expanding energy cooperation and investments.

 

Tuesday, 27 September—Delegations from Bahrain, Oman and the UAE travelled to Tokyo, to attend the state funeral of assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The delegations included Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Oman’s Advisor at the Diwan of Royal Court, Sheikh Salim Mustahail Al-Mashani, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Khaled bin Mohamed Al-Nahyan.

 

Tuesday, 27 September—The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, travelled to Riyadh and Muscat to discuss the extension of the truce in Yemen, which will expire on 2 October. In Saudi Arabia, the UN official met with the President of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, reviewing ways to reach a comprehensive ceasefire. In Oman, Grundberg met with the Houthi Chief Negotiator, Mohammed Abdel Salam, as well as with Omani Foreign Minister, Badr Albusaidi, discussing ways to expand the truce.