The Euro-Gulf Monitor

7 - 13 October 2022

by Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. The UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.

  2. Qatar’s Emir travelled to Kazakhstan for the 6th CICA Summit, where he is scheduled to meet with Russia’s President.

  3. The first session of the EU-GCC Political Dialogue was held in Riyadh.

  4. Saudi women will no longer need a male guardian for a pilgrimage to Mecca.

  5. Oman launched the ‘Oman Sustainibility Centre’ to work on carbon neutrality projects.

1 .التقى رئيس دولة اإلمارات، محمد بن زايد آل نهيان، بالرئيس الروسي فالديمير بوتين.
2 .سافر أمير قطر إلى كازاخستان لحضور قمة CICA السادسة ، حيث من المقرر أن يلتقي بالرئيس الروسي.
3 .عقدت الجلسة األولى للحوار السياسي بين االتحاد األوروبي و مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية في الرياض.
4 .لن تحتاج المرأة السعودية بعد اآلن إلى ولي أمر من أجل الحج إلى مكة.
5 .أطلقت عمان "مركز عمان لالستدامة" للعمل على مشاريع تحييد الكربون.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Tuesday, 11 October–Bahrain’s investment firm, GFH Financial Group, acquired a €400 million (EUR) worth portfolio of 11 US-based medical clinics, increasing its assets in the US healthcare sector to €1 billion (EUR). The move is part of the company’s aim to expand and diversify its investments in foreign financially strategic sectors.

State of Kuwait

Thursday, 13 October—Kuwait became the 28th member of the Astana-based Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), an inter-governmental forum on security, stability, and peace in Asia. Kuwait is the third GCC country to join the forum, following Bahrain and Qatar.

Sultanate of Oman

Tuesday, 11 October—Muscat established the ‘Oman Sustainability Centre’, which will supervise the Sultanate’s carbon neutrality projects as part of the country’s aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Centre will also work on operational planning and strategic programmes in line with the Oman Vision 2040 objectives.

State of Qatar

Monday, 10 October—The Qatari Amiri Air Force received the joint Qatar-UK Typhoon Squadron, named 12 Squadron, which will be in charge of counter-terrorism operations as part of the British-Qatari air protection deal dedicated to securing the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 and increasing bilateral military cooperation.

 

Tuesday, 11 October—Qatar won the three-year presidency of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security. The institution seeks to increase food self-sufficiency and address critical issues in food production and capacity building in Islamic countries.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 11 October—Saudi Arabia announced that women will no longer need a male guardian when undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca. The decision was announced by the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, who also presented Saudi Arabia’s digital innovations to manage the large amount of pilgrims entering the country, which include digital platforms and robots providing administrative services.

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 9 October—The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) signed an agreement with the UAE Cyber Security Council to jointly develop cybersecurity strategies for the energy sector. As part of the deal, ENEC will provide expertise for the establishment of a national-level security operations centre to oversee the protection of critical infrastructure, while the Council will support the development of cyber systems and cybersecurity policies. 

 

Wednesday, 12 October—The UAE unveiled a 10-year programme aiming to boost the country’s technological transformation of the industrial and production sector as part of its efforts to become a global industrial hub by 2031. The plan includes the establishment of national centres for industrial empowerment and plans to export over €4 billion (EUR) worth of advanced technological products per year.

EU Corner

Monday, 10 October—The Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora, co-chaired the first session of the EU-GCC Political Dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Negotiations, Abdulaziz Al-Awaisheq, in Riyadh. The session covered the Iranian nuclear file, developments in Ukraine, food and energy security, Yemen’s crisis, and Gulf stability.

 

Wednesday, 12 October—Bahrain’s Ambassador to Belgium and the EU, Abdullah bin Faisal Al-Dosari, met with Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Bernard Guetta. They discussed EU-Bahraini parliamentary cooperation, developments in the human rights sector, and the upcoming elections in the Gulf country.

Key Official Visits

Tuesday, 11 October—The UAE’s President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Saint Petersburg. The Emirati President stressed the importance of supporting political consultations to find a diplomatic solution to the ongoing war in Ukraine. The two leaders also discussed Russian-Emirati energy collaboration. The visit followed Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Belgrade, where he met with Serbian President, Aleskander Vucic, discussing Ukraine and cooperation in economy and security.

 

Tuesday, 11 October—The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, met with Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, Anwar Gargash, in Abu Dhabi. They discussed developments in Yemen and international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the war. In particular, the meeting focused on the possibility to extend the truce in Yemen and reach a permanent ceasefire, encouraging all parties to find a negotiated peaceful settlement of the conflict.

 

Tuesday, 11 October—Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, travelled to Astana for the sixth meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), where he was scheduled to meet with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. The Summit, which welcomed also Presidents of Iran, Palestine, Turkey, and other GCC countries’ representatives, among others, focused on the impact of the Ukrainian conflict on international and Asian stability. Qatar’s Emir also held talks with Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to discuss Qatari-Kazakh relations, developments in Ukraine and international challenges to global security.