Minister of State Annen visits Gulf states

04.05.2018 - Article

Minister of State Niels Annen visited the Gulf region from 29 April to 2 May. This first longer trip abroad in his new role as Minister of State took him to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Minister of State Annen with Omani Foreign Minister bin Alawi
Minister of State Annen with Omani Foreign Minister bin Alawi© Auswärtiges Amt

The focus of his political talks was on regional issues, particularly the nuclear deal with Iran, the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, and the ongoing crisis in Qatar. The excellent bilateral relations between the three countries and Germany were further enhanced by a frank exchange of views.

Three capitals in three days

A packed schedule saw Minister of State Annen travel from Kuwait to Muscat via Abu Dhabi. In Kuwait, he met Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Sulaiman Al-Jarallah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Special Representative of the Emir for the Qatar Crisis, Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, and Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim. All interlocutors underlined their great appreciation for German foreign policy in the region and the good state of the relations between Germany and Kuwait.

Kuwait’s constructive role

Annen paid tribute to the constructive and mediating role played by Kuwait in resolving regional crises and underlined Germany’s support for the endeavours by the Emir of Kuwait to achieve a political settlement to the Qatar crisis, which has been ongoing since 2016. There was consensus that the conflicts in Yemen and Syria can only be resolved by political means. Both sides also spoke very openly about current bilateral issues.

The UAE is a strategic partner

Minister of State Annen visiting an MEDRC desalination plant
Minister of State Annen visiting an MEDRC desalination plant© Auswärtiges Amt

Germany has had a strategic partnership with the United Arab Emirates since 2004. Annen held in-depth talks with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash in Abu Dhabi. The talks focused on the situation in Libya, current tensions among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Iran’s role in the region and the conflict in Yemen. Annen underlined the German Government’s calls for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and a return by all parties to the conflict to the negotiating table. He also underlined Germany’s interest in a solution to the conflicts in the GCC. Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, who was in Abu Dhabi at the same time, informed Annen about the current state of play in his efforts to foster a political settlement to the conflict. Annen told Griffiths that he had the full support of the German Government.

Oman – an important mediator

Muscat was the third and last stop on the programme. Annen held talks in the Sultan’s court office and with Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. An official dinner with the Minister underlined the two countries’ mutual appreciation. Annen encouraged the Omani Government to continue its foreign policy in the region aimed at conciliation and mediation. As a neighbouring country of Yemen, the conflict in Yemen, as well as that in Syria, and Iran’s role were the main topics of the talks. Annen also made use of his time in Oman to visit a desalination plant run by the Middle East Desalination Research Centre, the opera in Muscat and the German University of Technology.


Top of page