The Euro-Gulf Monitor

26 August - 1 September 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.

  1. The leaders of the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq discussed inter-Arab partnership.

  2. The EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, travelled to Riyadh.

  3. Oman and Turkey discussed cooperation in the energy field. 

  4. Kuwait announced an increase in crude oil production to meet growing international demand. 

  5. Pakistan’s Prime Minister paid an official visit to Qatar to discuss investment opportunities.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 21 August–Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, received the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Theyab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi, to discuss maritime security in the Arabian Gulf. The meeting is a follow-up of Bahrain’s taking command of the CTF 152 Combined Maritime Taskforce, that safeguards international maritime traffic from threats that impact global trade.

Sunday, 21 August–Bahrain’s National Security Advisor and Royal Guard Commander, Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, announced the launch of a 100% Bahraini-built satellite project, expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The project is in line with King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s vision aiming to enhance Bahrain’s status and scientific and technical progress.

 

Tuesday, 23 August–The Minister for Oil and Environment and Special Envoy for Climate Affairs, Mohammed bin Mubarak Daina, unveiled the National Plan for Persistent Organic Chemical Pollutants (POPS). The programme aims to achieve sustainable development goals, by preserving the environment from chemical and organic substances.

State of Kuwait

Wednesday, 24 August–Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil announced an increase in crude oil production, in line with the OPEC+ output accord to meet growing international demand. The move aims to meet Kuwait’s commitment to ensure stable supplies to the oil market.

Sultanate of Oman

Tuesday, 23 August–Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Salim Nasser Al-Aufi, met with the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez, to discuss cooperation in the field of oil and gas, renewable energy and hydrogen, and joint investments.

State of Qatar

Monday, 22 August—Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, met with Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in Doha. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen the Qatari-Greek relations.

 

Tuesday, 23 August–Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, paid an official visit to Qatar. He discussed investment opportunities in his country’s energy and aviation sectors during a meeting with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). In exchange for Qatar’s economic assistance, Pakistan will provide troops for security at the Qatar World Cup due to kick off in November.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Monday, 22 August–Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Commission (NRRC) expressed the intention to develop an electronic platform for passing and exchanging communications in the event of nuclear and radiological emergencies. In particular, a commission will be established to draw up policies that ensure control over nuclear and radiological activities and facilities, lay down regulations related to nuclear energy, and verify their implementation.

 

Tuesday, 23 August–The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) approved two new Fintech companies, Lean Technologies and Mod5r, bringing the total number of permitted Fintech companies operating under its Regulatory Sandbox to 38. The move aims to reach Saudi Vision 2030’s goals of promoting economic growth, savings and investment activities, and financial inclusion.

Wednesday, 24 August– The Saudi Council of Ministers approved a law aimed to boost the development of the tourism sector, in a bid to diversify the country's economy away from oil revenues. The law will establish a new regulatory environment to attract tourism innovators and improve business procedures.

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 21 August–The UAE announced the return of its Ambassador, Saif Mohammed Al-Zaabi, to Iran, more than six years after downgrading ties with Tehran. The move is in line with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait’s steps to improve relations with Iran, and meets the UAE’s ambition to increase diplomatic representation abroad.

Monday, 22 August–The leaders of the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq gathered in Egypt to discuss inter-Arab partnership. The summit focused on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as well as the crises in Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Palestine, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project.

The EU Corner 

 

Monday, 22 August‒The European Union (EU) Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, visited Riyadh, where he met with Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Council of Ministers and Envoy for Climate Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, and with Deputy Foreign Minister, Waleed Abdulkarim El-Khereiji. The Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, also attended the meeting, which focused on bilateral cooperation and ways to address the regional crises in a coordinated way. 

 

Wednesday, 24 August–The European Union Delegation in Kuwait held a reception to bid farewell to Ambassador Cristian Tudor upon the completion of his mandate in Kuwait. On the occasion, EU-Kuwait relations were reviewed, considering that Kuwait has been the first Gulf country with whom the EU signed the Cooperation Arrangement in 2016, and that since then bilateral ties have been deepening in several fields.