Tuesday, March 19, 2024

GCC chief discusses Gaza war with EU officials


The Importance of Strengthening Gulf-European Relations

The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jasem Albudaiwi, recently met with EU officials in Belgium to discuss ways to enhance Gulf-European relations and cooperation in addressing regional issues. The discussions highlighted the significance of the existing cooperation between the GCC and the EU at various levels, emphasizing the alignment of views on bilateral, regional, and international matters.

Economic, trade, and investment ties between the two regions have been continuously developing, reflecting a strong foundation for collaboration. The meetings also delved into discussions on pressing regional and international issues, including the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Efforts to address the humanitarian crisis, accelerate aid delivery, achieve a lasting ceasefire, and work towards a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause were key topics of conversation.

Albudaiwi emphasized the importance of granting GCC citizens an exemption from the Schengen visa scheme to facilitate travel and strengthen people-to-people contacts. This move would not only enhance the strategic partnership between the GCC and the EU but also reflect the spirit of cooperation between the two blocs. The support shown by EU officials for such an exemption underscores the high regard in which GCC countries are held within the EU.

Discussions also touched upon the potential visa exemption process for GCC citizens and a mechanism for cooperation in migration and development fields. The GCC’s efforts to strengthen cooperation with the EU in combating terrorism were commended, highlighting a shared commitment to addressing common challenges.

Meetings with EU officials, including the chairperson of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the vice president of the European Commission responsible for promoting the European way of life, focused on building stronger relations and achieving common goals. Joint initiatives, parliamentary diplomatic relations, and exchanges on regional and international developments were key areas of discussion.

The importance of unified efforts to enhance human life principles amidst global conflicts and crises was underscored during talks with EU officials. Emphasis was placed on promoting security, stability, mutual trust, and cooperation in matters of common interest. The need for coordination and consultation to address current challenges and enhance ties was reiterated throughout the meetings.

Discussions with NATO’s assistant secretary-general for political affairs and security policy centered on the war in Gaza and its implications for international peace and security. The prospect of enhancing cooperation between the GCC and NATO through ongoing dialogue was explored, highlighting a commitment to addressing shared concerns.

Overall, the meetings between Albudaiwi and EU officials underscored the importance of strengthening Gulf-European relations to address regional challenges effectively. The discussions reflected a mutual commitment to cooperation, coordination, and dialogue to achieve common goals and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. By fostering strategic engagement and enhancing collaboration, both regions can work towards a more secure and prosperous future together.

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