The Euro-Gulf Monitor

25 June - 1 July 2021

by

Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Bahrain appointed its first Ambassador to Israel.

  2. EU and Saudi Arabia explored ways to boost cooperation during the first EU-Saudi Climate Dialogue.

  3. Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, visited the UAE as the first Israeli minister in history.

  4. GCC Ministers attended the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS in Rome and held several meetings on the sidelines.

  5. Qatar Petroleum seeks to raise $10 billion with the first dollar bond sale in 15 years.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Tuesday, 29 June–Bahrain appointed Khalid Al-Jalahma as its first Ambassador to Israel. He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at Bahrain’s Embassy to the United States (2009-2013) and subsequently as the Director of Operations at Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry.

State of Kuwait

Wednesday, 30 June–Kuwait launched its first satellite into space as part of an educational space mission. The satellite was named the “Moon of Kuwait”, and was aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9, which launched from Florida, US. The “Moon of Kuwait” mission aim to provide opportunities for students to develop new software solutions that will be executed on the satellite’s onboard system.

Sultanate of Oman

Tuesday, 29 June–Oman’s government announced it will expand the vaccination process to anyone over 18 years old, in a bid to accelerate the immunisation process against COVID-19 amid worsening situation. Previously, the vaccine was offered to special categories and people over 45 years old.

State of Qatar

Wednesday, 30 June–The state-owned energy company, Qatar Petroleum, seeks to raise $10 billion (USD) in its first dollar bond sale in 15 years. The decision comes as the country seeks to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons per year by 2027.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 30 June–Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, launched the Saudi National Transport and Logistics Strategy. The plan aims to establish the country as a global logistic hub, boosting the quality of public entities and diversify the country’s economy. As part of the strategy, the Crown Prince also announced the launch of a second national airline. Riyadh currently seeks to expand the transport sector’s contribution to the GDP from 6% to 10%.

United Arab Emirates

Tuesday, 29 June–The UAE and Israel signed a deal for economic and trade cooperation. The agreement provisions exchange of delegations, collaboration between chambers of commerce and the partnerships in research and development activities, particularly in the agri-tech sector. The deal was signed during a meeting in Abu Dhabi between Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, and his Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

The EU Corner

Monday, 28 June‒The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, met with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, in Rome. The talks, held on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, focused on bilateral partnership and the Syrian crisis.

 

Tuesday, 29 June‒Policymakers and experts from the EU and Saudi Arabia held the first Saudi-EU Climate Dialogue (online). The discussion aimed at exploring cooperation in addressing climate change and in boosting renewable energy, particularly within the context of the EU Green Deal and circular carbon economy, promoted by Saudi Arabia.

Key Official Visits

Monday, 28 June–The Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, co-chaired by the Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, was held in Rome. Foreign Ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE participated in the event, which covered aspects of global security and counter-terrorism. Several bilateral meetings were held on the sidelines of the session, including a discussion between Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, about cooperation on regional security and stability.

Tuesday, 29 June–Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, held a three-way meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the US Foreign minister, Antony Blinken, discussing the political and economic developments in Lebanon. The meeting was held in Matera, Italy, on the sidelines of the G20 talks. The three ministers discussed the need for political stability in Lebanon, as well as the urgency for implementing economic reforms.

 

Tuesday, 29 June–Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, visited the UAE to inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and its consulate in Dubai, in the first official travel to the UAE by an Israeli Minister in history. During the visit, Lapid met with his Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, discussing economy, trade and security.