In a successful 5-day political tour, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense HRH Mohammed bin Salman completed the five stops of his Gulf tour, which started in Oman on December 6 and ended on December 10 in Kuwait.
As the most prominent event, this tour occupied the headlines of the Saudi, Gulf, and Arab media, and even received the attention of the international media.
Amid a warm welcome from the leaders of the Gulf states, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his tour was accompanied by the establishment of partnerships, agreements, and understandings in various fields, between Saudi Arabia and every Gulf country in which the Crown Prince landed.
Sultanate of Oman
The joint statements that were issued at the end of each visit to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as bilateral issues between Saudi Arabia and the country, in which the Crown Prince is staying, topped regional and international issues of common interest.
It was the first visit to the Sultanate of Oman, where the Sultan of Oman awarded Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the “Oman Civil Order of the First Class,” which is the highest Omani honor.
This medal is awarded to kings, heads of state, crown princes, and heads of government, whose countries have distinguished relations with the Sultanate of Oman.
The two countries signed 13 memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth $30 billion in the commercial and media fields.
The aforementioned signed MoU aimed to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade, standardization, and specifications, quality and measurement, calibration, and laboratories.
In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman announced the opening of the first direct land port between them, with a length of 725 km, which will contribute to the smooth movement of citizens of the two countries and the integration of supply chains.
On his second stop, the United Arab Emirates, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed stressed “the need to work to consolidate the pillars of regional stability, which constitutes the main common base for development, construction, and progress.”
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on behalf of the President of the UAE, presented Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the “Zayed Medal” of the first degree, which is granted to their Highnesses, kings, presidents, and leaders of countries, in appreciation and expression of pride in the depth of the well-established bilateral relations, and the strong historical ties that unite the two countries.
The two sides praised the distinguished level of cooperation between them, in the political, security, military, economic, and development fields, and the cooperation and integration achieved under the umbrella of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council.
The two sides affirmed their determination to strengthen and develop the council’s role in the next phase in all fields, to serve their strategic interests, and some cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries.
In Qatar, a reception ceremony was held for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Amiri Diwan on the occasion of the visit, after which the Crown Prince and Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani chaired the sixth meeting of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council.
During the visit, the Emir of Qatar showed great interest and hospitality to his guest.
Among what has been announced many understandings took place between the two leaders, on many common, regional, and international issues between their countries.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar also agreed to “formulate joint positions and consult on developments in all international forums to preserve the security and stability of the two countries.”
In Bahrain, too, there was talk of a consensus of visions between Manama and Riyadh, during the meeting of the Crown Prince with the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The two sides also confirmed the contents of the Al-Ula Declaration issued on January 5, 2021.
Al-Ula’s statement provides for the full and accurate implementation of the vision of the Saudi monarch, which was approved by the Supreme Council at its 36th session, in December 2015, according to a specific timetable and careful follow-up, including completing the elements of economic unity and the joint defense and security systems and coordinating positions.
It also provides for strengthening the regional role of the Gulf States, through unifying stances, developing political partnerships with the international community and region, and the strength and cohesion of the GCC states and unity among its members.
In this context, the Bahrain News Agency said that Saudi authorities and funds are targeting investments of $5 billion in development projects in Bahrain.
Kuwait was the last destination of the Gulf tour, where the Emir of Kuwait presented the “Mubarak Al-Kabeer” necklace to the Saudi Crown Prince, in appreciation of his efforts to consolidate fraternal ties between the two countries and enhance understanding between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, according to the “Kuwait News Agency.”
The visit to Kuwait focused on bilateral cooperation, issues of common interest, and unifying positions on regional and international issues.
After that, Prince Mohammed bin Salman left, after a successful tour at all levels, and brought with him a large balance of consensus in visions and agreements, on the future of Gulf – Gulf relations.
Strengthening the Gulf work process
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, affirmed that the tour of the Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, is aimed at strengthening the course of Gulf action.
Ibn Farhan wrote in a tweet on his Twitter account, that the Crown Prince’s tour of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries expressed the concept of a single Gulf, a common destiny, and its timing came to strengthen the Gulf work process and push it towards broader horizons.
He added, “The Kingdom is working with brotherly countries in the region to ensure the enhancement of security, stability, prosperity, and well-being for our countries and peoples.”
Many analysts believe that the Gulf tour, which was undertaken by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is very important, especially as it preceded the 42nd Gulf summit that was held on December 14.
This summit coincides with an important phase the region is going through, most notably the resumption of negotiations on the nuclear file with Iran, and the continuation of the war in Yemen.
The results of the Crown Prince’s visit gave glimpses of what will dominate the 42nd Gulf Summit meeting, especially in light of great consensus at all levels, between the Kingdom and all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Analysts expect that the results of the Crown Prince’s visit will dominate the upcoming Gulf Cooperation Council summit, which will be the start of a new cooperation council based on the economy because economic integration stands in the way of political caprices.
A Look into the results of the Crown Prince’s tour
Sultanate of Oman
13 economic and development agreements for investment projects worth $ 30 billion.
The opening of the direct land road between the two countries for SAR 1.9 billion.
A session of talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Muhad bin Ziyad Al Nahyan.
Signing many cooperation agreements between the two sides.
Presenting some presentations addressing the features of the investment environment in the UAE.
Logistics services provided by Abu Dhabi Ports Group.
Services of the International Water and Energy Works Company «ACWA Power».
A tour of Expo 2020 Dubai and the headquarters of the Saudi pavilion at the exhibition.
The “sixth” Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council was held, headed by the Crown Prince and the Emir of Qatar.
Saudi-Qatari Business Council meeting.
The signing of 6 cooperation agreements between Saudi and Qatari companies.
Strengthening commercial and investment cooperation relations.
Research investment opportunities and establish alliances and partnerships.
Re-formation and activation of the Joint Business Council.
Expanding cooperation between the private sector and stimulating intra-trade.
An official and popular reception for the Crown Prince upon his arrival in Manama.
A review of the historical relations between the two countries.
Expected future investments of $5 billion in development projects in Bahrain.
The second meeting of the Coordination Council in Sakhir Palace.
Emphasizing the continued strengthening of cooperation and consultation towards regional and international issues of common interest.
Emphasizing the importance of continuing to strengthen joint action in the security and military fields.
Strengthening and developing economic relations to serve common interests and increasing Saudi-Bahraini economic cooperation.
Activating several initiatives, including cooperation in the educational, sports, cultural, health, and entertainment fields.
A joint statement stipulates supporting and developing prospects for cooperation between them in various fields and achieving a strategic partnership.
Develop coordination in the defense and military fields between them.
Strengthening economic and investment cooperation to ensure the establishment of joint economic projects.
The importance of the stability of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to enhance their regional role.