The European Union is opening a new delegation in Kuwait City, its press office announced Wednesday. The delegation will be its third in the Gulf Cooperation Council, joining offices previously established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
The decision comes amid increased cooperation between the EU and the oil-rich monarchy and reflects Kuwait's role as a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, the EU's top diplomat and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini said Wednesday.
"Opening a new Delegation in Kuwait City will allow us to further step up our political, economic and sectoral engagement. Establishing a permanent presence in the country illustrates that we consider our partnership with the Kuwaiti people a priority." Mogherini described Kuwait as an "important partner" for the EU for "peace, security and prosperity in the country and wider region."
Kuwait in 2016 was the first Gulf state to reach a Cooperation Arrangement with the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU's diplomatic arm, pledging increased joint work in areas like investment and energy. And European diplomats have cited their support for Kuwait's "Vision 2035", a plan to turn Kuwait into a commercial and financial hub for the northern Gulf.