The Euro-Gulf Monitor
27 September - 02 October 2020
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Monday, 28 September—Bahrain will continue to pay 50% of salaries of insured Bahraini private sector workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for another 3 months starting from October and approved payments of 50% salaries to several hundred uninsured female workers and additional financial help to uninsured taxi and public transport drivers, and tourism facilities until the end of the year.
State of Kuwait
Tuesday, 29 September–The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who ruled the country since 2006, passed away. His brother, the 83 years old Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was nominated as his successor by the country’s National Assembly.
Sultanate of Oman
Monday, 28 September–Oman’s mosques are expected to reopen for prayers on 15 November, after being closed due to precautionary measures in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
State of Qatar
Tuesday, 29 September–Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a phone call in which they focused on their strategic cooperation and regional issues of common concern.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Monday, 28 September—Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund signed an agreement with local banks, the Riyadh Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi, to finance tourism projects worth up to SR160 billion (approximately $42.6 billion) and develop tourism in the Kingdom.
Tuesday, 29 September–Saudi Arabia’s security forces dismantled a 10-member terrorist cell that allegedly received training by the IRGC in Iran in 2017.
United Arab Emirates
Monday, 28 September–The UAE announced its candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2022-2023 term. The election will be held in June 2021, during which the UN General Assembly will elect five non-permanent member states of the UNSC to serve for two years.
The EU Corner
Tuesday, 29 September–Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, travelled to Brussels, where he discussed EU-Saudi cooperation with President of the Council, Charles Michel, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Helga Schmid, and EU’s Political and Security Committee. The talks covered also joint G20 initiatives, human rights cooperation, a future Cooperation Arrangement between the EEAST and the Saudi Foreign Ministry, the Gulf crisis de-escalation, and the developments in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, the Eastern Mediterranean and Sahel.
Key Official Visits
Wednesday, 30 September–Kuwait’s new Emir, Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, received high-level delegations from the GCC countries, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, expressing condolences on the passing of Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The Emir met with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Iraq's President Barham Salih, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said and the UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, among others.
Wednesday, 30 September—Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, met with Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, and Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, in Warsaw to discuss military, economic and political cooperation and situation in the Middle East.
Wednesday, 30 September—The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, GCC Secretary General and Russia’s Foreign Minister held a virtual meeting discussing GCC-Russia cooperation, stabilisation of the Gulf region and the situation in Syria, Libya and the Arab-Israeli peace process, on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly session.
Thursday, 1 October–The Head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Joseph Yossi Cohen, held talks with the Head of Bahrain’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Lieutenant-General Adel bin Khalifa Al-Fadhel, in Manama, focusing on cooperation in security and information sharing.
Thursday, 1 October–Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, visited Doha, where she met with Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Lolwah Alkhater, Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the MoFA, Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, among others.
Thursday, 1 October—UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met with his Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Christodoulides, to discuss the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and strengthening bilateral cooperation. On 25 September, UAE’s Foreign Minister held similar talks with Nikos Dendias in Greece, while Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, was visiting Cyprus.