EU Enters Strategic Partnership with Gulf Nations

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The European Union has announced a ‘strategic partnership’ with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its member states as part of enhancing engagement in the broader region.

In a 9-page publication of the council’s conclusions released yesterday, the EU also called on the Gulf nations to do their part in strapping on the energy transition.

“Close and effective cooperation between the European Union and Gulf partners is essential to achieve key objectives of the European Union, notably peaceful and prosperous Gulf and Middle East regions, a strong economic recovery, sustainable, affordable and secure energy supplies for European consumers.

“Also a strong collaboration on green transition between Europe and its partners, to contribute to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a strong response to global humanitarian and development needs,” the list of conclusions read in part.

The EU said it and its partners would be ready to work together to support global efforts on methane emission reduction, contributing to the decarbonisation of the oil and gas sector.

The EU position about cozying up to some of the world’s most oil- and gas-rich nations is coming even as EU looks forward to securing energy independence from Russia ultimately.

The EU position also comes as U.S. President Biden announced recently about plans to make a fence mending trip to Saudi Arabia after attempting to ostracize the country – and its de facto leader, Mohammad bin Salman – over humanitarian issues.

“Gulf partners are reliable Liquefied Natural Gas providers to international markets, including to the EU. LNG remains key in the short term, to limit the volatility of global markets, and ensure a smooth transition,” the statement stated.

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However, amidst the call crave to improve relations with the Gulf countries are calls for the Gulf states to do more with regards to the energy transition, a push that the Gulf countries may find irksome, observers say.

The EU has had difficulties in the past in threading the needle between pushing the Gulf countries hard over the energy transition, and asking for additional LNG supplies as Russia wields gas supplies to the EU like a mighty weapon.

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