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The Euro-Gulf Monitor

8 - 13 November 2020


Arnold Koka & Veronica Stigliani

5 Top Points

  1. Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, appointed as Prime Minister.

  2. Qatar and Italy expand military cooperation with two new deals.

  3. Saudi Arabia’s King and Germany’s Chancellor discussed enhancing cooperation in countering violent extremism.

  4. The UAE introduced legal reforms, loosening restrictions on alcohol, cohabitation of unmarried couples and toughening penalties on crimes against women.

  5. Oman partnered with Swedish Ericsson for 5G technology.

‘Round and About the Gulf

Kingdom of Bahrain

Wednesday, 11 November–Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa appointed Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa as the country’s new Prime Minister following the passing of the Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa.

State of Kuwait

Monday, 9 November–The 4th US-Kuwait virtual Strategic Dialogue was launched. The two-week event will cover issues such as: human rights, development, security, trade, investment, scientific cooperation. Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohamed Al-Sabah, will meet US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, in Washington DC. The Kuwait Coast Guard and the US Navy and Coast Guard held a joint maritime security patrol exercise in the Gulf.


Sultanate of Oman

Wednesday, 11 November–Oman partnered with the Swedish ICT company, Ericsson, on the  development of 5G technology in the Sultanate. The deal provisions the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Advanced Telecommunications Technology and Internet of Things (CoE) to assist in technological development in Oman.


State of Qatar

Thursday, 12 November–Italy and Qatar signed two military cooperation agreements—one between the Qatar Emiri Air Force and the Italian Air Force on the training of Qatar’s fighter pilots; and the second one between Leonardo and Barzan Holdings, an investment fund of Qatar's Defence Ministry, on the occasion of Italy’s Minister of Defence, Lorenzo Guerini, visit to Doha. Guerini held talks with his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, and Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 10  November–Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud discussed terrorism and hate speech with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. During a phone call, they tackled the need to cooperate in countering violent extremism, hate speech and ensuring security. They also covered the agenda of the upcoming G20 Summit, chaired by the Kingdom.


United Arab Emirates

Saturday, 7 November–The UAE announced a legislative reform that will outlaw the so-called “honour killings”, loosen restrictions on alcohol consumption, decriminalise suicide, lift a ban on cohabitation of unmarried couples and increase penalties for offences against women.

The EU Corner


Monday, 9 November–The 5th EU-Arab World Summit titled “A strategic partnership between the Arab World and the European Union”, aimed at consolidating economic and political relations between the two regions, began. The agenda included several topics, such as COVID-19, energy and innovation, as well as the situation regarding Palestine and Syria.

Wednesday, 11 November–The EU expressed its condolences for the passing of Bahrain’s Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa. The EU remembered the Prince for his contribution to the Kingdom’s innovation and reaffirmed its willingness to continue collaborating with the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Key Official Visits

Monday, 9 November–Italy and the UAE held the 4th Strategic Dialogue in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Italy’s Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, and his Emirati counterpart,  Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The discussion covered regional developments, particularly regarding Libya, Iran and the Eastern Mediterranean, and ways to strengthen cooperation in economy, trade and culture.


Tuesday, 10 November–Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud held a virtual meeting with Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, discussing cooperation in the oil sector, namely the OPEC+ cuts. The same day, the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council met in Baghdad, discussing agreements worth $10 billion (USD) in the energy, industry, agriculture, health and education sectors.


Wednesday, 11 November–The US Special Representative for Iran, Elliot Abrams, met separately with Yemen’s President, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Khalid bin Salman Al-Saud, in Riyadh. The US Representative called for a faster implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.


Friday, 13 November—Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, received Defence Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord (LNA), Salah Eddine Al Namrush, in Doha.

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