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RIYADH: The European Union’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Patrick Simonnet verified on Friday that the bloc is eager to strengthen its partnership with the Kingdom.

The EU unveiled its to start with very long-time period technique to shape upcoming Gulf ties on Wednesday, when the Higher Consultant and the European Fee adopted a joint conversation — “Strategic Partnership with the Gulf.”

EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia Patrick Simonnet cutting cake on Europe Working day at Cultural Palace, in DQ Riyadh. (Provided)

“At a time of insecurity and major difficulties to the rules-centered global order, aggravated by Russia’s war on Ukraine, the European Union and Gulf countries stand to obtain from a stronger and much more strategic partnership stretching above a number of essential places. We will need to work more intently jointly on stability in the Gulf and the Middle East, on global stability threats, energy protection, local climate alter and the inexperienced transition, digitalization, trade and investment decision. We also need to have to improve contacts among pupils, scientists, organizations and citizens,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s international policy main, explained as he unveiled the plan.

The extensive-expression method — the very first of its form involving the two groups — will be pivotal to EU- GCC relations. We want each individual other. The EU and the GCC have a good deal to acquire in reinforcing the partnership.

Patrick Simonnet, EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia

In an exclusive job interview with Arab News, Simonnet explained: “The extended-time period tactic — the 1st of its sort between the two teams — will be pivotal to EU-GCC relations. We need to have each other. The EU and the GCC have a whole lot to attain in reinforcing the partnership. That is what we felt in distinctive visits above the very last 12 months. There was a realization that we experienced a widespread fascination in stepping up our partnership. It is about the overall economy, how we can greater assistance our respective tactics, Saudi Vision 2030, and EU Inexperienced Offer.

“We have been importing fossil gas from Saudi Arabia for a prolonged time. We are likely to keep on, but we would like to swap to a much more sustainable consumption of renewable vitality. We know that the Gulf has monumental likely to export renewable energies, like environmentally friendly hydrogen. Saudi Arabia has made massive investments and is keen to be a world-wide provider of hydrogen, and it would be pretty practical for us to import this eco-friendly hydrogen to obtain our have climate transform targets. It would also be very good for the Kingdom, for its very own local weather adjust targets. So there’s a really excellent match that we can have involving us,” he ongoing.

“We can do the job collectively on the regional disaster, there is a fantastic offer of alignment concerning our sights on the Middle East peace method, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Lebanon… The tactic proposes that we work even much more closely together on regional stability challenges. Safety cooperation is also extremely crucial. We wished to have a technique which was extra political, extra security oriented. We are negotiating the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear arrangement, formally acknowledged as the Joint Detailed Prepare of Action), and if we can have a constructive outcome (there), we could build on that to ideally contribute even a lot more to steadiness and stability in the Gulf,” reported the EU envoy.

“We are the major provider of foreign immediate investment in this article, and the GCC is the next-greatest buying and selling companion for the EU, so we will glimpse at how to re-engage on the cost-free trade arrangement (FTA),” Simonnet included.

The joint conversation also aims to increase cooperation in increased education and learning and culture. 1 of the goals is to draw in far more Saudi students to Europe and European learners or teachers to the Kingdom, he spelled out.

Yet another aim, in accordance to Simonnet, is “visa-absolutely free vacation to Europe” for all countries. “We are quite substantially mindful that visa liberalization could aid the exchanges among the two sides,” he mentioned.

He extra: “I fulfilled Saudi travel bloggers a few times again. It was appealing to examine all the concealed gems in Saudi Arabia in conditions of tourism, the places in which we could deliver a lot a lot more visitors, and the exact detail in Europe — there are a lot of additional places in Europe that could be identified by Saudi holidaymakers, so visa liberalization is significant.”

In foreseeable future, according to the joint communication, there will be much more typical conferences at ministerial levels amongst EU and GCC foreign ministers and ministers of power.

“Europe is proposing to step up the recreation of relations,” said the envoy, incorporating that the EU will increase its diplomatic delegations in the region, expanding on its present delegations in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait.