Exhibitions & Conferences 

High-level training course on EU affairs with the participation of 35 diplomats from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman

Riyadh _ksa 13 Februay


 Patrick Simonnet

EU Ambassador to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very glad to be able to welcome you all this morning at the opening of the High-Level Training on EU Affairs for Saudi, Bahraini and Omani diplomats.

I would firstly like to extend a warm welcome to all the 35 participants, including those who have joined us from Manama and Muscat.  

I hope this training on which you are about to embark will be interesting and insightful but also useful for your future careers as many of you will most likely go on to represent your countries as diplomats in various European capitals.

The EU is a complex animal; we as Europeans are well aware of that, so please, do not get discouraged. I am sure by the end of the week, things will become much clearer. Despite its complexities, we take great pride of this unique entity, and of the European cooperation it has brought about. Notably, the EU has helped to achieve more than 75 years of peace in Europe, for which it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. It is also the world’s biggest single market, offering freedom for its citizens to live, study or work anywhere in the EU and also has its own currency euro, used by 340 million EU citizens.

To learn more about how this has come about and how the EU functions, including how decisions are made and how negotiations on political and trade issues are conducted, you will have excellent trainers from the renowned Clingendael Institute – Christiaan & Max – to guide you over the course of the next 5 days.

Let me also say that this training reflects our increasingly close EU-GCC relationship and I am happy to see that we were able to bring together so many diplomats of the region for this meaningful and interactive engagement. I am also glad that you will have the chance to get to know and interact with each other, forming networks for the future.

Before I conclude, I would of course like to thank also our partners in this endeavour – the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies, the Diplomatic Institute of Oman and the Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Bahrain as well as the different Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Big thanks also to Dr Turki AlTurki for his efforts in helping to organise this training.

I also look forward to hosting you at the Closing reception on Thursday evening at the AlMashtal Creative Space at the Diplomatic Quarter to celebrate your hard work over the week.

Thank you. Shoukran.

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