The Euro-Gulf Monitor

3 - 9 June 2022

by Veronica Stigliani & Ashleigh White

5 Top Points

  1. Oman announced new oil discoveries.

  2. Kuwait Airways and Italy's state-owned ITA Airways announced a new strategic partnership.

  3. Qatar picked Eni, Exxon Mobil Corp, TotalEnergies, Shell, ConocoPhillips as partners in  expansion of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

  4. The Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, visited Oman.

  5. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, paid an official visit to Indonesia and Malaysia.

​أعلنت عمان اكتشافات نفطية جديدة

 

أعلنت الخطوط الجوية الكويتية والخطوط الجوية الإيطالية المملوكة للدولة عن شراكة استراتيجية جديدة

 

قطر اخترت : إيني وإكسون موبيل وتوتال إنيرجي وشل وكونوكو فيليبس في توسعة أكبر مشروع للغاز الطبيعي المسال في العالم

 

قام نائب الأمين العام والمدير السياسي لدائرة العمل الخارجي الأوروبي، إنريكي 

مورا، بزيارة عمان

 

قام وزير الخارجية السعودي فيصل بن فرحان آل سعود بزيارة رسمية إلى إندونيسيا

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 5 June‒The Economic Recovery Forum, organised by the Bahrain Shura Council and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), took place in Manama. The event, hosted by the Chairman of the Shura Council, Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh, aimed to support the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, attempting to achieve economic and financial stability as well as sustainable growth. 

State of Kuwait

Sunday, 5 June‒The General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, in cooperation with Limak Contruction Company, launched the Women’s Economic Empowerment Platform, a locally rooted initiative that encourages positive change towards women's employment and leadership in Kuwait's private sector, in line with the development plan of Kuwait Vision 2035.

 

Monday, 6 June‒Kuwait Airways and Italy's state owned ITA Airways announced a new strategic partnership, which will see Kuwait national carrier’s code used for ITA Airways flights on domestic and international routes. The measure aims to boost bilateral trade and touristic relations.

Sultanate of Oman

Sunday, 5 June‒Oman announced the discovery of new oil fields, that will increase daily oil output by 50,000 to 100,000 barrels over the next two to three years. The discovery is expected to help Oman to achieve a fiscal surplus of 5.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

 

Sunday, 5 June‒Oman reduced recruitment fees for companies hiring foreign workers, in an effort to revive the country’s economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The move aims to boost the private sector, compensating the lack of local workers. 

State of Qatar

Monday, 6 June‒Qatar summoned India’s Ambassador over offensive comments against Prophet Mohammed by some members of the Indian ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also lodged official protests against New Delhi, demanding apologies for the remarks against the Prophet Mohammed.

Wednesday, 8 May‒Qatar picked Eni, Exxon Mobil Corp, TotalEnergies, Shell, ConocoPhillips as partners in the nearly $30 billion expansion of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. The North Field expansion will boost Qatar’s position as the world top LNG exporter. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sunday, 5 June‒The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced a ban on outdoor work from 12 pm to 3 pm in hot weather to protect the safety and health of private sector workers.

Sunday, 5 June‒The 4th Conference on Mediation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) took place in Jeddah. The event, titled “Experiences and Prospects”, was hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the OIC, and reaffirmed commitment to diplomatic and political means to resolve disputes. 

 

Wednesday, 8 June—The Savvy Gaming Group, which belongs to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, bought an 8.1% stake in Sweden’s Embracer video gaming company for 10.3 billion Swedish crowns (around 1.03 billion EUR) and became the second largest share-owner in the company, amid a growing interest in the gaming sector.

Wednesday, 8 June–The Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, held a phone call with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to review Saudi-UN cooperation and coordination on regional challenges. 

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 5 June‒Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), signed two agreements to develop 4,000-megawatts renewable energy and green hydrogen projects in Azerbaijan. The agreements cover the development of onshore wind and solar photovoltaic and offshore wind and green hydrogen projects, and include measures to implement processes for the export of electricity.

Sunday, 5 June‒The President of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, ordered the finalisation of 2.3 billion AED (600 million EUR) of grant applications made to the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, aiming to ensure decent living conditions for Emiratis. The UAE Minister for Energy and Infrastructure, Suhail Al-Mazrouei, announced that all pending applications for funding assistance will be processed in the next five years.

 

Tuesday, 7 June‒The UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, announced the establishment of the National Media Office (NMO) in Abu Dhabi. The NMO will be affiliated with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and will develop media plans and legislation.

 

Tuesday, 7 June‒UAE’s astronauts will receive training on how to operate SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, in Houston in preparation for an upcoming trip to and from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Nasa-Space Crew-6 mission.

Wednesday, 8 June–The Dubai International Chamber, one of the emirate’s three chambers of commerce, will establish a representative office in Tel Aviv, to boost trade and investment between the UAE and Israel.

The EU Corner

Sunday, 5 June‒The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Saudi Arabia, Patrick Simonnet, and the Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs and Climate Envoy, Adel Al-Jubeir, discussed the regional and international situation as well as EU-Saudi Arabia cooperation in the field of environmental protection.

Monday, 6 June‒The Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, paid an official visit to Oman. He met with Oman's Foreign Minister, Badr Albusaidi, and co-chaired the 3rd round of EU-Oman political consultations with the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Diplomatic Affairs, Khalifa Al-Harthy, to discuss potential Schengen visa waiver for Omani citizens and the opening of an EU office in Muscat. The meeting also addressed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its economic consequences on the region, the situation in Yemen and Iran.

 

Wednesday, 8 May‒The EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, travelled to the United Arab Emirates to discuss EU-UAE cooperation in several fields. Commissioner Urpilainen held separate meetings with the UAE’s Minister of State, Reem Al-Hashimy, and with the Director of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Mohammed Saif Al-Suwaidi, to explore ways to address the crises in Afghanistan and Sahel.

Key Official Visits

Monday, 6 June–Bahrain’s Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa, received the Turkish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Esen Çakil, to discuss relations between the countries and methods to boost bilateral cooperation in the judicial field.

Monday, 6 June–The Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and Minister of Defence, Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, met with the United Kingdom (UK) Defence Senior Advisor for the Middle East, Martin Sampson, to discuss regional and international military concerns. The Kuwaiti Army Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Khaled Saleh Al-Sabah, and the British Defence Attaché, Captain Paul Mulvaney, also attended the meeting.

Tuesday, 7 June‒The Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, received the Yemeni President of the Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, Ahmad Awadh bin Mubarak, to discuss the regional situation. The meeting was attended by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad A-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, among others. 

Tuesday, 7 June‒The Crown Prince of Kuwait, Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, received the Crown Prince of Jordan, Hussein bin Abdullah, to discuss ways to boost bilateral relations.

Tuesday, 7 June‒The Saudi Deputy Minister for International Multilateral Affairs, Abdulrahman Al-Rassi, held separate meetings with the Russian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sergey Kozlov, and with the Director General of the Department of the West Asian and North African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Di. The meetings aimed to discuss bilateral relations and boost coordination to address common challenges amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

 

Tuesday, 7 June‒Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, paid an official visit to Indonesia and Malaysia, to deepen bilateral relations. In Jakarta, he was received by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo. During the visit, Saudi Arabia lifted the suspension of Saudi citizens’ direct and indirect travels to Indonesia. In Kuala Lumpur, he was welcomed by the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and met with several Malaysian Ministers. 

Tuesday, 7 June‒The UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sultan Al-Jaber, met with a senior Japanese delegation led by the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Hagiuda Koichi, to explore economic, energy and industrial cooperation. The discussions focused on continuing joint initiatives to use new commercially feasible technology to reduce carbon emissions and reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to Japan’s energy security.

 

Monday, 6 June —Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, held talks on regional security and bilateral ties with the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, in Washington, DC.

 

Wednesday, 8 June–The governors of the Central Banks of the UAE, Jordan and Egypt signed preliminary agreements to enhance financial and banking cooperation between the three countries. The new initiative follows the recent signing of a trilateral industrial partnership, and intends to boost sustainable growth and cover areas of financial supervision, FinTech and technical expertise.

 

Wednesday, 8 June—Doha hosted the 2nd round of political consultations between Sweden and Qatar, co-chaired by State Secretary to Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Magnus Nilsson, and Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Secretary General, Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Hammadi. During the visit, Nilsson also met with Qatar’s Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani.

 

Wednesday, 8 June–The Bahraini Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, met with the Saudi Minister for Tourism, Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Katib, during the 116th United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s Executive Council Meeting in Riyadh. The discussion focused on Bahraini-Saudi relations and on governmental plans and programmes to support the tourism sector.

Wednesday, 8 June–The Indian Minister of External Affairs Secretary for Consular, Passport, and Overseas Affairs, Ausaf Sayeed, paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia. He held talks with the Saudi Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, Saud bin Mohammad Al-Sati, and with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Envoy, Adel Al-Jubeir, about issues of common interest and opportunities for cooperation in several fields.  

Thursday, 9 June–The Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, received the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hissein Brahim Taha. The meeting aimed to promote joint Islamic action and coordinate development programmes.