The first Senior Officials Meeting under the framework of the Cooperation Arrangement between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (MOFAIC) was held in Brussels on 26 July 2019, co-chaired by Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Helga Maria Schmid, and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash.
The meeting launched the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement between the EEAS and MOFAIC signed on 31 January 2018 in Brussels. The Cooperation Arrangement aims to provide a framework to scale up bilateral relations through an intensified political dialogue and strengthened cooperation on key strategic issues of mutual interest.
Today's Senior Officials Meeting focused on bilateral relations as well as regional issues of common concern. Recent developments in the Gulf featured prominently on the agenda and both sides emphasised the need to reinforce efforts to defuse tensions and avoid escalation. Discussions also focused on Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel and the Middle East Peace Process. Both sides stressed their commitment to continued cooperation to promote peace, stability, and sustainable solutions to existing conflicts.
The exchange also explored ways to enhance sectoral cooperation and coordination in areas of mutual interest, including in the framework of Expo 2020, hosted in Dubai under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. For this purpose, the two sides confirmed their shared intention to establish thematic Working Groups under the framework of the Cooperation Arrangement with a view for them to convene in Brussels later this year.