European Union Hosts High-Level Training for GCC Diplomats Deepening expertise and fostering closer bilateral relations

Riyadh, 10 February 2022

The EU Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman will host a high-level training on EU affairs for 35 Saudi, Bahraini and Omani diplomats as the European Union increases its engagement with the Gulf region. The in-depth training will be held in partnership with the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies (IDS) in Saudi Arabia, the Diplomatic Institute of Oman and the Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Bahrain. The training will be delivered by Clingendael – the Netherlands Institute of International Relations and will run from 13-17 February 2022 at the premises of IDS.

The opening ceremony will be held on 13 February 2022 in the presence of a high representative from the saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and  H.E. Patrick Simmonet, the European Union Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Also present will be H.H. Sayyid Faisail bin Turki Al Said, Ambassador of Oman to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mr Khalifa Ali Muhammed Al Manaseer, Minister Plenipotentiary and Chargé d’Affaires of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The training programme aims to contribute to the strengthening of understanding of the European Union’s institutions and decision-making processes, particularly EU’s external engagement with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Attendees will take part in master classes, interactive exercises and simulations on political and trade negotiations and energy cooperation as well as hear from specialised European trainers on trust and consensus building and the power dynamics within the European Union.

It will conclude with a high-level closing ceremony in the presence of senior officials from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GCC diplomats, IDS leadership, Ambassadors of European Member States and other distinguished guests. During the ceremony, the training graduates will be awarded completion certificates, followed by a panel discussion on the future of EU-GCC relations and lessons learnt through decades of partnership based on mutual respect. The closing ceremony will take place on 17 February 2022 in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh.

Speaking ahead of the events, H.E. Ambassador Patrick Simonnet said: “This training programme demonstrates our joint commitment to advance EU-GCC relations. Our aim is to enhance mutual understanding with our partners in the Gulf region and we believe enhancing understanding of the workings of the European Union – a political and economic union that brings together 27 Member States and nearly 500 million citizens – will contribute to this objective. I wish the participants all the best and look forward to dynamic discussions that will help to shape our cooperation in the future.”

Dr. Alomrani, the Acting-Director General of the IDS added: “Diplomatic training simulation programs are among the best training practices for diplomats. I am confident that this program will help the  participants gain a deeper understanding of decision-taking processes. I thank the European Union delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman and Clingendael, in addition to the department of International Cooperation at the IDS, for their outstanding efforts in preparing this training program.”

From his side, Dr. Turki AlTurki, Head of International Cooperation at the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies said: “It is wonderful to see the cooperation between IDS and the EU turning into a steady partnership. This training is the 3rd round of its kind for Saudi diplomats and the first to also include Omani and Bahraini diplomats. This program is designed to advance participants’ knowledge and skills on the EU. I am confident that this training will have a lasting impact on participants to further deepen relationships with the members of the EU.

Dr. Muneera Al Khalifa, Director-General of the Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Bahrain added: “This programme offers a unique opportunity for diplomats to gain valuable insights and professional understanding of the European Union—which represents an important voice in global affairs as well as one of the world’s leading economies. We value our partnership with the EU and look forward to further collaboration, particularly in the field of diplomatic training.”

Finally, Dr. Zainab al Qasmi, Director of the Diplomatic Institute of Oman said:  “The organization of this programme comes as part of the close cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and the European Union. It sheds light on the key features of the policies of the EU and the decision-making mechanisms and processes. It is hoped that such programmes would continue as they invest in human development with the objective being to hone the skills of young diplomats.”


About the European Union Delegation:

The Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain opened in Riyadh in 2004. The EU Delegation is also representing the EU vis-à-vis the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). The EU Delegation works on many areas of cooperation between EU and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain as well as the GCC, including political dialogue, economic and trade issues, regional security, education as well as climate change and transition to green energy/economy.

Read more about us on the EU Delegation’s website / Twitter: @EUintheGCC

About the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies:

Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies (IDS) is dedicated to provide the best practices in diplomatic training for The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant government agencies. IDS aspires to be a distinguished training and provide issues, suggest and evaluate strategic alternatives that best serve the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia.

For more information: / Twitter: @KSAPSAIDS

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