RIYADH: Officials from the EU and the GCC on Monday discussed ways to boost economic and political cooperation between the two groups in all fields, including regional and international efforts for security development and combating terrorism.
The meeting was held at the GCC headquarters in Riyadh between Michele Alliot-Marie, the visiting chairperson of the Committee on Relations with the Arab Peninsula in the European Parliament, and Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Riyadh-based Ambassador Michele Cervone d’ Urso, head of the EU Delegation in Saudi Arabia, was also present during the talks.
The meeting also discussed areas of joint cooperation and coordination between the two sides on some regional and international issues of common concern, in addition to political, security and humanitarian developments in the region.
Welcoming the EU delegation, Al-Zayani highlighted the active role played by EU countries in a number of regional and international issues, and the various initiatives it has made to bring peace and security to the Middle East region.
He also stressed the keenness of the GCC countries to strengthen and develop the strategic partnership and cooperation with the EU in all fields to ensure the security, stability and prosperity of the region
Aliot-Marie thanked the secretary-general and stressed the importance of the Gulf-European partnership to achieve security and stability in the region, and to face all regional challenges and changes, and combat the growing regional and international terrorism.
She also noted the need to take advantage of the economic opportunities available to the GCC in light of the ambitious national programs of these countries to serve the common interests of the two sides.
The EU delegate also met with Labor and Social Development Minister Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis, who reviewed programs and initiatives that aim to develop and regulate the labor market in the Kingdom.
Following a meeting with Yahya bin Abdullah Al-Samaan, assistant speaker of Shoura Council, at the council’s headquarters, Alliot-Marie underlined the key role of the Kingdom in the region and commended the Neom project launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as it will achieve one of the goals of Vision 2030.
She said the NEOM project launched last week during the Future Investment Initiative forum had amply portrayed investment opportunities in the Kingdom with the available local resources.
Following her meeting with the Shoura official, Alliot-Marie said that bilateral relations between the European Parliament and the Kingdom are sustainable and important in the light of the challenges faced by the two bodies in security, as well as common economic challenges.
She said an effective dialogue between the two bodies could reap increased results for the betterment of the two countries.
Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Mishari, chairman of the Fifth Parliamentary Friendship Committee of the Shoura Council, also held talks with Alliot-Marie.
He stressed the importance of the EU ties to the Kingdom and hoped that the relations between the consultative and legislative bodies would gain strength.