GULF IN REVIEW
31 March - 5 April 2019
Kingdom of Bahrain
Sunday, 31 March—Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, led Bahrain’s delegation to the 30th Arab League Summit held in Tunisia, which highlighted the need to promote the joint Arab action and strengthen cooperation among Arab countries to face the challenges to their development, security and stability. On the sidelines, he met with Palestine’s President, Mahmoud Abbas, the Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jabir Al-Sabah, and other officials. In his keynote speech on behalf of King Hamad, the Deputy Prime Minister reiterated support for the Palestinian cause, addressed the situation in Yemen, Libya, Syria and the occupied Golan Heights, the Iranian meddling and called for joint efforts to combat terrorism and extremism.
Wednesday, 3 April—Saudi Arabia’s King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, travelled to Bahrain, where he met with the country’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, to discuss bilateral relations and the latest regional developments.
Thursday, 4 April—The 16th Meeting of the High Bahraini-Jordanian Military Cooperation Committee, aimed at strengthening bilateral military cooperation, was held in Jordan between 2-4 April. Bahrain’s delegation to the Committee was led by the Chief of Staff of Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), Lieutenant General Dhiab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi.
State of Kuwait
Monday, 1 April—Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, met with Poland’s Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, to discuss bilateral ties and ways to enhance them as well as cooperation within the framework of non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), on the sidelines of the UNSC Meeting in New York.
Tuesday, 2 April—Kuwait and Bahrain formalised a financial aid agreement to support Manama’s economy and economic reforms as part of a financial assistance package from some of its Gulf neighbours (re: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE). The agreement was inked by Bahrain’s Minister of Finance and National Economy, Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Kuwait’s Finance Minister, Dr Nayed Al-Hajraf, and the Director-General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Dr Abdulwahab Al-Bader, as well as the Arab Monetary Fund.
Sultanate of Oman
Sunday, 31 March—Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, received Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen. They reviewed the developments in the Yemeni peace process. Oman reiterated its support for the UN efforts to find a political solution to restore security and stability in Yemen.
Tuesday, 2 April—Muscat hosted the 19th Meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial Committee, chaired by the Secretary-General of Oman’s Foreign Ministry, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al-Busaidi, on following up the implementation of the GCC joint work decisions, particularly regarding the Gulf Common Market.
Tuesday, 2 April—A delegation from Oman’s Foreign Ministry, led by the Acting Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Diplomatic Affairs, Dr Mohamed bin Awadh Al-Hassan, was received by Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi. They discussed bilateral relations and cooperation and ways to develop them, in addition to issues of common concern.
State of Qatar
Tuesday, 2 April—Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, arrived in Doha for an official visit on the occasion of the inauguration of the Italian Embassy’s new headquarters, located at Al-Fardan Tower in West Bay, Doha. During the visit, Prime Minister Conte met with Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, with whom he discussed bilateral relations, opportunities for improvement, particularly in economic and defence areas, and regional issues, including the situation in Libya.
Tuesday, 2 April—Qatar’s Energy Minister and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Al-Kaabi, announced that the state owned energy giant awarded several contracts to expand Qatar’s LNG production capabilities from 77 to 110 million tons per year (Mt/y) by 2024. The announcement came during the 19th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquified Natural Gas in Shanghai. Those contracts include notably the fabrication and installation of the new offshore jackets by McDermott, and the early site works for the four new 8 Mt/y LNG trains in Ras Laffan Industrial City by a joint venture of Consolidated Contractors Company and Teyseer Trading and Contracting Company.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sunday, 31 March—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, unveiled and launched the first Hawk jet training aircraft, which was in part manufactured by and fully assembled by Saudis, who were trained within the framework of Saudi-British Defence Cooperation Programme, in collaboration with BAE Systems, at the King Abdulaziz Air Base in Dhahran, Eastern province. He also laid the foundation for the establishment of the Air War Centre, which will contribute to the development, modernisation and evaluation of air force capabilities and its combat readiness.
Monday, 1 April—The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) announced the establishment of the Global Medium Term Note Programme, which might offer the US dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes in the future. In case that the notes would be issued, they would be admitted to the Official List of the United Kingdom Listing Authority (UKLA) and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market.
Tuesday, 2 April—Dr Abdel Aziz Hamad Aluwaisheg, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Negotiations, received a delegation from Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Epstein Lindbeck, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division. They discussed the latest developments in the Middle East, the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) and the Red Sea Cooperation Initiatives. The GCC and Norway regularly hold political consultations; they signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2009.
Wednesday, 3 April—A Saudi delegation of government officials and businessmen, led by Minister of Commerce and Investment, Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, travelled to Iraq for the 2nd Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council meeting, which aimed to explore opportunities for enhancing bilateral relations, developing trade and investment ties, and encouraging technical expertise exchange. The delegation met with Iraq’s President, Barham Salih, Prime Minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and other officials. On the occasion, Saudi Arabia opened the first one of its four planned consulates in Iraq, in Baghdad, and it announced a $1 billion aid package for Iraq. The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Baghdad counterpart inked a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation and coordination.
United Arab Emirates
Tuesday, 26 March - A delegation of leading Dutch energy and water companies, led by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, and Hans Sandee, the Netherlands’ Consul General in Dubai, met with Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and explored opportunities for participation in DEWA’s development projects and initiatives. The Dutch delegation was particularly interested in participating in the clean and renewable energy and water projects.