The Euro-Gulf Monitor

29 July - 4 August 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. Kuwait’s Crown Prince officially dissolved the national parliament.

  2. The US approved the sale of Patriot missile interceptors to Saudi Arabia.

  3. The EU and Oman agreed on mutual recognition of digital COVID-19 certificates.

  4. The UAE established  the Higher Committee for Government Digital Transformation.

  5. The EU welcomed the approval of an extension of the truce in Yemen until 2 October.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Monday, 1 August‒Bahrain’s Cabinet announced the launch of a new housing financial scheme to benefit Bahraini citizens. The new programme, known as “Tas’heel Affordable Housing Solutions” represents a follow-up to a memorandum submitted by the Government Executive Committee, and aims to develop innovative housing solutions in collaboration with the private sectors. 

 

State of Kuwait

Tuesday, 2 August‒Kuwait’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, officially dissolved the national parliament, after months of political tension between the National Assembly and the government. The same day, the new government led by the newly-appointed Prime Minister, Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah, took the oath of office. Many ministers have been reappointed from the previous government, which has though been reduced from 15 to 12 ministers as several have taken additional portfolios.

 

Sultanate of Oman

Monday, 1 August‒The Royal Army of Oman undertook a military drill with India, named “Al-Najah/4", which will finish on 14 August. The exercise is part of the framework of the training plans pursued by the leadership of the Royal Army of Oman, aiming to maintain high level of performance and combat efficiency.

 

State of Qatar

Saturday, 30 July‒The Ministry of Health and Qatar Charity, in cooperation with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), distributed medical supplies to eight health units in Yemen, in a project worth over $862,000 (USD). The initiative aims to provide life-saving and sustainable health services for all age groups, with attention to vulnerable groups, such as the displaced communities.

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 2 August‒The US approved the sale of Patriot missile interceptors to Saudi Arabia, in a pending deal that could be worth as much as $3 billion (USD). The announcement, which comes three weeks after US President Biden’s visit to the Gulf country, aims to support Saudi Arabia in countering the threats coming from the Yemeni Houthi group (Ansar Allah). The US State Department also approved another deal worth $2.25 billion to sell the THAAD missile rounds to the UAE, aiming to improve Abu Dhabi’s capability to respond to ballistic missile threats. 

 

United Arab Emirates

Monday, 1 August‒The UAE Cabinet has approved the formation of the Higher Committee for Government Digital Transformation, which will be chaired by the Minister of State for Governmental Development and Future, Ohood Al-Roumi. The measure aims to enforce the UAE's digitalisation plans and enhance the country’s competitiveness and flexibility.

 

Wednesday, 3 August‒The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Emirates Development Bank (EDB) have signed a pact to finance agricultural start-ups, in an effort to improve the country’s food security while pursuing sustainable economic development. A joint committee will be established to monitor the implementation of the accord, which entails not only financing from EDB, but also training on modern agricultural methods and technology organised by the Ministry. 


 

The EU Corner 

 

Saturday, 30 July‒The European Union (EU) and Oman agreed to establish the equivalence of the Omani COVID-19 certificates and the EU Digital certificates, in order to facilitate international mobility between the Gulf country and the European continent. The EU also accepted on its digital system COVID-19 certificates of Peru and the Philippines. 

 

Tuesday, 2 August‒The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Jaap Ora, attended a meeting between Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister for Multilateral and International Affairs, Abdulrahman Al-Rassi, and the German Ambassador to the Kingdom, Dieter Lamlè, in Riyadh. The Swiss Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, André Schaller, also took part in the event. 

 

Tuesday, 2 August‒The European Union (EU) welcomed the approval of an extension of the truce in Yemen until 2 October, announced by the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg. The EU called on all parties to commit to the implementation of the truce, and to ensure certain services, including opening roads and granting fuel deliveries, as well as paying civil servant salaries and civilian pensions. 

 

Wednesday, 3 August‒The Head of the EU Delegation to Kuwait, Cristian Tudor, met with the recently appointed Kuwaiti Ambassador to the EU, Nawaf El-Enezi, to discuss common strategic priorities and ways to deepen bilateral cooperation.