Borrell, Al-Hajraf discuss EU-GCC cooperation

January 18, 2022
European Union High Representative Josep Borrell with GCC Secretary General Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.
European Union High Representative Josep Borrell with GCC Secretary General Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.

BRUSSELS — European Union High Representative Josep Borrell met the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf and the GCC Chief Negotiator Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Harbi here on Monday, and exchanged regional and mutual concerns and explored ways to step up EU-GCC cooperation.

According to a statement released by Borrell's office Monday evening, the 27-member EU and the six-member GCC share an interest in addressing global challenges such as green and digital transition, climate change and counter-terrorism.

The forthcoming 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting convened for Feb. 21 in Brussels will resume high-level institutional engagement between the two organizations and discuss concrete ways forward to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on both regional and global challenges, it said.

Monday's meeting in Brussels followed an invitation extended by the EU High Representative to the GCC Secretary General in Riyadh during his visit to the region last October, in order to continue their engagement and also allow discussions on a broader range of issues with concerned.

Members of the European Commission. Al-Hajraf also met with Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Commissioner for budget and administration Johannes Hahn and EU Commissioner for interior affairs Ylva Johansson. GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

EU removes 3 countries

from its safe travel list

The European Union Monday removed three countries Argentina, Australia and Canada from its epidemiologically safe travel list of non-EU countries. The decision means that the EU Member States are now advised to reimpose entry restrictions on arrivals from the three countries.

"Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.”

In particular Argentina, Australia and Canada were removed from the list, said an EU statement. Fourteen countries including Kuwait now remain on the EU's safe travel list. — KUNA

January 18, 2022
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