GULF IN REVIEW
21 - 26 April 2019
Kingdom of Bahrain
Tuesday, 23 April—King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa travelled to Budapest, where he held talks with Hungary’s President, János Áder. They discussed enhancing bilateral relations and intensifying cooperation in various fields, to achieve sustainable development, notably in the environmental, economic, social and investment fields. They also called for the joint economic committee to meet soon and activate the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between the two countries on promoting economic and technical cooperation.
Thursday, 25 April—Bahrain’s Interior Minister, General Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, received the Senior Advisor for Cyber at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Marcus Willett, and Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Middle East, Lieutenant General Thomas Beckett. They discussed the importance of cooperation, coordination and exchange of expertise and good practices in cyber-security.
Thursday, 25 April—Bahrain’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Faisal bin Jabur Al-Doseri, received Geoffrey van Leeuwen, the Director of Middle East Division at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They reviewed relations between Bahrain and the Netherlands, ways to enhance cooperation along with issues of common interest.
State of Kuwait
Monday, 22 April—Kuwait‘s Acting Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of the Interior, Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, received Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, and his accompanying delegation, during the latter’s official visit to the country. The Canadian Minister visited Kuwait along with the UAE, Jordan and Iraq, where he visited the deployed personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces. On the occasion he also met several officials of the countries and strengthened bilateral defence partnerships, while discussing the defence and security challenges, including concerning the lasting defeat of Daesh.
Sultanate of Oman
Thursday, 25 April—London hosted the 15th UK-Oman Joint Working Group meeting, co-chaired by Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Badr Al-Busaidi, and Mark Field, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Foreign Office for Asia and the Pacific, who is temporarily covering the Middle East and North Africa, which focused on the strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and Oman.
State of Qatar
Wednesday, 24 April—Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, held talks with Secretary of the United States’ State Department, Mike Pompeo, in Washington, DC. Secretary Pompeo highlighted the Qatari official’s efforts to enhance strategic partnership between the United States and Qatar, including follow-through on Qatar’s commitments to fair competition in civil aviation. The two officials discussed a range of regional security challenges, notably the situations in Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan, and efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s malign regional activities.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Monday, 22 April—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged $3 billion financial aid package to Sudan.
Tuesday, 23 April—Riyadh hosted the 8th Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting between the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United Kingdom (UK), aimed at the strengthening of the GCC-UK strategic partnership. The meeting focused on the implementation of the approved plans of action, notably the implementation of military cooperation between the GCC and the UK and implementation of joint strategic plan, and preparation for the joint meetings and workshops planned for 2019.
Tuesday, 23 April—Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, received Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz, and his accompanying delegation, to discuss bilateral relations and ways to enhance them, along with regional and international issues of common concern.
Wednesday, 24 April—Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and his accompanying delegation participated in the 8th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), organised by Russia’s Ministry of Defence between 23-25 April. Among the topics discussed was the situation in the Middle East, particularly the stabilisation of Syria and the importance of international cooperation in counter-terrorism. On the occasion, Prince Khalid held talks with Russia’s Minister of Defence, Sergey Shoygu, discussing opportunities for developing Saudi-Russian strategic partnership in security and defence, among others.
Thursday, 25 April—Thirteen member states, namely Bahrain, Bangladesh, Comoros Islands, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Niger, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE and Yemen, sent their permanent delegates to begin operations at the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) Center headquarters in Riyadh.
Friday, 26 April—The United Kingdom‘s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, hosted a Meeting on Yemen in London with representatives of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the United States, namely Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, UAE’s Foreign Minister, and David Satterfield, the US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The aim of the meeting is to discuss the following steps in the Yemeni peace process, led by the United Nations, and ways to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. Earlier the week, the UK Foreign Secretary Hunt held separate bilateral talks with the Saudi Minister of State Al-Jubeir and the Emirati Foreign Minister Al-Nahyan.
United Arab Emirates
Tuesday, 23 April—The UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, conducted official visits to several European countries to discuss bilateral ties and cooperation and prospects for enhancing them in various fields, along with the situation in Libya and Yemen. In Rome he was received by Italy’s Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, in Paris he met with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and in London he held talks with the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
Wednesday, 24 April—London hosted the 5th UAE-UK Joint Economic Committee Meeting, which discussed opportunities for strengthening the economic cooperation between the UAE and the United Kingdom. The Meeting was co-chaired by Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Shehhi, UAE’s Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs, and Baroness Fairhead, UK’s Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion. Partnership opportunities are particularly in aerospace, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, education, energy, financial services, healthcare, infrastructure, and technology.
Thursday, 25 April—Romania’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Petre Daea, and UAE’s Ambassador to Romania, Dr Ahmed Abdullah Saeed Al-Matroushi, discussed opportunities for advancing cooperation in agricultural field between the UAE and Romania and reviewed investment opportunities for both countries’ businesses in the field. Dr Al-Matroushi highlighted the growing bilateral ties with Romania and expressed readiness to enable the UAE firms to invest in Romania and to accelerate expertise exchange and knowledge transfer.