The Euro-Gulf Monitor
9 - 15 June 2023
by Elen'Alba Vitiello
5 Top Points
Saudi Arabia hosted the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh.
Bahrain and Italy held their first Bahraini-Italian Joint Committee meeting in Rome.
The 2nd Qatar-France Strategic Dialogue took place in Doha.
UAE delegation, led by Minister of Climate Change and Environment, visited Kyiv.
Oman and Poland develop economic cooperation.
‘Round and About the Gulf
Kingdom of Bahrain
Wednesday, 14 June–Bahrain’s Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), Hala Al-Ansari, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Permanent Observer of the United Nations University for Peace (UPEACE) to the United Nations and UNESCO, David Fernandez Puyana, with the aim to enhance cooperation in boosting women’s role as an active element in social peace and achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
State of Kuwait
Tuesday, 13 June–Following parliamentary elections held on 6 June 2023, Kuwait’s Crown Prince, Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, re-appointed Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah as Prime Minister and asked him to form a new Cabinet.
Sultanate of Oman
Sunday, 11 June–According to a report by Oman’s Ministry of Energy and International Energy Agency, Oman is set to become one of the largest hydrogen exporters in the world by 2030. Oman has allocated an area of more the 65,000 square kilometres to green hydrogen projects and clean energy projects, aiming to produce more than 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030.
State of Qatar
Friday, 9 June–Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, co-chaired the 2nd Qatar-France Strategic Dialogue in Doha. They devised a joint action plan based on existing cooperation, namely in the political, diplomatic, economic, defence and security, and terrorism fields.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sunday, 11 June–On the first day of the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia and Chinese electric and self-driving car company, Human Horizons, signed a $10 billion (about €9 billion) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Human Horizons announced it will enter the European market as well this year, particularly Western Europe or Scandinavia.
Tuesday, 13 June–Saudi Arabia announced a new instant e-visa option for UK, US, and Schengen visas, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to attract 100 million visitors annually by 2030.
United Arab Emirates
Wednesday, 14 June–The UAE’s Red Crescent and the Syrian Health Directorate in Latakia governorate have joined forces to carry out the “Cardiac Care” initiative. The project offers catheterisation and heart operations, in support of Operation Gallant Knight 2, a coordinated humanitarian campaign established by UAE’s President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in response to the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkïye in February 2023.
Wednesday, 14 June–The UAE Space Agency launched the “Space Means Business” campaign to attract local and international private sector firms and entrepreneurs to build the MBR Explorer spacecraft, which will embark on a five-billion-kilometre journey in 2028.
Wednesday, 14 June–Following Luigi Di Maio’s appointment as EU Special Representative for the Gulf Region, he held one of his first meetings with the Head of the GCC Mission to the EU, Abdulal Al-Qenaie, to continue building a strategic partnership with the GCC countries, one of the European Union’s key priority in order to advance shared security and prosperity.
Thursday, 15 June–The European Union organised the 7th Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria and of the Region,aiming to ensure continued support for the Syrian people, both in Syria and in the wider region, by mobilising the international community in support of a comprehensive and credible political solution to the Syria conflict, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Key Official Visits
Friday, 9 June–UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, held talks with Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, in Tokyo. They explored ways to enhance their strategic partnership in various fields, including the energy sector. The meeting was attended by UAE’s Assistant Minister for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Mubarak Al-Hajri, and UAE’s Ambassador to Japan, Ahmed Al-Fahim.
Friday, 9 June–Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmondo Cirelli, co-chaired the first meeting of the Bahraini-Italian Joint Committee in Rome. During the meeting, they discussed a joint three year action plan to develop economic relations, expand bilateral trade and investments, facilitate business opportunities, and encourage the exchange of expertise and technology.
Sunday, 11 June–Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, held a number of meetings with British ministers and UK company leaders, aimed at boosting trade and economic partnership between the two countries, with new business opportunities and investments in Saudi Arabia and the UK. It included UK Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, Minister of Trade and Business, Kimi Badinosh, Minister of Investment, Dominic Johnson, Minister of State for Middle East and North African Affairs, Tariq Ahmed, and Minister of State at the Department of Education, Nick Gibb.
Monday, 12 June–Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, met with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, on the sidelines of the second Ministerial Meeting between member states of the Arab League and the Pacific Small Island Developing States, in Riyadh. During the meeting, they discussed the latest developments in the Syria and the region, and exchanged views on issues of common interest.
Monday, 12 June–UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, flew to New Delhi, and met with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, to celebrate the one year anniversary of signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), aiming to reach $100 billion (about €92 billion) in non-oil trade between both countries by 2030. The UAE Ministry of Economy’s figures indicate that from May 2022 to April 2023, bilateral non-oil trade reached $50.5 billion (about €46 billion), a 5.8% increase compared to 2021-2022.
Monday, 12 June–UAE’s delegation headed by Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam Al-Mheiri, flew to Kyiv and met with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as well as Ukraine’s first Lady, Olena Zelenskyy. They reviewed efforts to boost trade exchange and investment to form a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. Moreover, they discussed new projects to rebuild damaged hospitals and schools, related to the “family type orphanages” project, which the UAE supported by allocating $4 million (about €3.6 million) to construct buildings.
Tuesday, 13 June–Oman’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Khalifa Al-Harthy, signed an agreement on mutual exemption from entry visas for holders of diplomatic, special and service passports, with Poland’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Pawel Jablonski, in Warsaw, Poland. During the visit, Al-Harthy also met with Poland’s Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Kamilla Krol, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Polish Agency for Investment and Trade, Pawel Kurtasz, to develop economic and investment cooperation.
Wednesday, 14 June—Doha hosted the 3rd Bahrain-Qatar Follow-up Committee meeting to implement the Al-Ula agreement. The Bahraini delegation was led by Abdulla bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs, while the Qatari side was headed by Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Hammadi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Wednesday, 14 June–Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, travelled to France to participate in the For a New Global Financial Pact Summit in Paris. He is set to meet French President, Emmanuel Macron, and will participate in the reception for Saudi Arabia’s candidacy to host Expo 2030.
Thursday, 15 June—Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister, Fahad Al-Jalajel, travelled to London, where he signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Steve Barclay, UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, aiming to enhanceand deepen UK-Saudi collaboration in healthcare and explore investment opportunities.
Thursday, 15 June—Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, will visit Tehran and meet with Iranian officials on Saturday, 17 June.