High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell met with members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) in the margins of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) in New York on 21 September. The GCC delegation was composed of the GCC Secretary General, Nayef Bin Falah Al-Hajraf; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, in representation of the current chairmanship; Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, for the Saudi incoming Presidency of GCC in 2022; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, and representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss latest developments in the region and the prospects for a strengthened EU-GCC dialogue and cooperation. The High Representative acknowledged that the positive dynamics of a reinvigorated GCC, that contributes to de-escalating tensions in the region and offers opportunities for enhanced EU-GCC institutional engagement on strategic areas of mutual interest.
The parties discussed the preparation of an EU-GCC Joint Council to be held next year under the Saudi presidency of the GCC. The High Representative stressed that over 30 years since the signature of the EU-GCC agreement the EU is determined to explore further ways of cooperation with the GCC and its members, both on regional and global issues, including green and digital transition and post-Covid-19 recovery.