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Albares embarks on a tour of three Gulf countries to promote solutions to the Middle East crisis

He shall visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on a trip that will also feature an economic and business component

February 5, 2024
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, tomorrow embarks on a tour that will take him to three key Gulf countries​ (Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), in a new effort to promote solutions to the Middle East crisis.

This latest tour sees Albares resume the commitment expressed during his recent visit to Lebanon and Iraq to visit the region more frequently to meet with the main actors in the region, with a view to finding solutions to the Middle East crisis. The first stop will be in Qatar, a key nation in the ongoing mediation to end the crisis in Gaza. In the Qatari capital, he will hold a meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, among other activities.

The Minister will discuss how the two countries, Spain and Qatar, can work together to bring peace to the area. Albares also plans to take an interest in the latest contacts between the Qatari authorities and the parties and to offer Spain's help in establishing a new peace dynamic in the region. The Minister's agenda will also include meetings with representatives of Spanish companies in Qatar and with the Qatari Businesswomen Association to focus on the strength of economic relations with Qatar.

Spanish-Qatari cooperation in the promotion of Spanish culture and language will be addressed in a meeting with Spanish language students and teachers in the country, and in a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art, where the Minister plans to do a brief tour of the section of art related to Spain. 

Spanish proposals

The push for solutions to promote peace in the Middle East, by implementing the two-State solution, is also the primary reason for his visit to Riyadh on the central day​ of this Gulf tour. He will hold a meeting there with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, with whom he will also discuss the situation in the region and to whom he will convey Spain's proposals for bringing peace to the region. The Saudi minister chairs the Contact Group of the League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and in this capacity participated in the Union for the Mediterranean Regional Forum on 27 November in Barcelona. 

In Saudi Arabia, Albares will discuss the next steps to be taken as part of the Euro-Arab cooperation to advance the effective establishment of the Palestinian State, within the framework of the two-State solution that Spain advocates. In Riyadh, Albares will also continue to promote the growing bilateral economic agenda in meetings with ministers of the Saudi Government's economic area, and with representatives of Spanish companies operating in the country. 

Contacts with civil society and cultural and tourism-related exchanges are also part of the Minister's programme in Saudi Arabia, a country undergoing an accelerated process of modernisation in the framework of the “Vision 2030”, due to culminate in the World Expo in Riyadh this year. 

Final leg

The final leg of this busy Gulf tour will take Albares to Abu Dhabi. In the United Arab Emirates capital, the Spanish Minister will hold a meeting with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, with whom he will also be able to substantiate how the Spanish proposals have been received. 

The Spanish-United Arab Emirates economic agenda will include, among other factors, a visit to the State-owned renewable energy company Masdar and a meeting with the company's CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. The company has an office in Madrid to cover Spain, North Africa, Europe and Latin America.