RIYADH: The EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain held today a high-level training for 35 diplomats from the three countries in EU affairs at the Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh.
“Our aim is to enhance mutual understanding with our partners in the Gulf region, and we believe enhancing understanding of the workings of the EU … will contribute to this objective,” EU Ambassador Patrick Simonnet said.
The EU Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman aims to increase engagement with the Gulf region by fostering EU knowledge, understanding and cooperation.
During the opening ceremony, speeches were made by Simmonet, H.H. Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al-Said, Ambassador of Oman to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Dr. Adel Alomrani, acting director general of the IDS; and Dr. Turki Al-Turki, head of International Cooperation at the IDS.
“This program is designed to advance participants’ knowledge and skills in 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,” Al-Turki said.
The five-day training, titled “EU policies and decision making,” is hosted by Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, from Feb. 13-17 and will include workshops, lectures and group discussions, bringing together participants from the three Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
“The training is unique; it provides a very state-of-the-art approach and will include proactive approaches, workshops and study cases. It’s a result of the fruitful cooperation of the EU,” Alomrani said.
The program demonstrates the commitment between the EU and the GCC to further advance bilateral relations and mutual understanding.
“This training represents the closeness of the EU-GCC relationships and demonstrates our joint commitment to advance those relations,” Simonnet said.
In the opening ceremony, the EU ambassador said that the training will be useful for the future diplomatic careers of Gulf participants representing their countries in the EU.
The opening session of the training, titled “EU in Motion: Shifting Power Balances,” involved an overview of the EU and allowed the students to have an open discussion during the lecture.
The training will teach diplomats how decisions are made, how negotiations are conducted and how to better form networks for the future.
“I am confident that this program will help the participants gain a deeper understanding of decision-making processes,” Alomrani said.
The focus of the training will also include discussions of the EU’s external communications with GCC countries.
In addition to extending GCC and EU collaboration, the program will touch on trade agreements, policies and various energy cooperations between the two entities.
Throughout the lessons, students will discuss the different challenges facing the EU and GCC.
“This program offers a unique opportunity for diplomats to gain valuable insights and a professional understanding of the EU — which represents an important voice in global affairs as well as one of the world’s leading economies,” Dr. Muneera Al-Khalifa, director-general of the Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Bahrain, said.
Upon completing the training, students will be recognized with personalized certificates during the closing ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 17 in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter.