Germany-GCC relations: Continuities, priorities and Atlanticism

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Article by Robert Mason about Germany-GCC relations featured in the ORIENT II 2022.

Germany has close political relations with Israel and long-standing relations with Iran, but its interactions with the Gulf Cooperation Council states have tended to lag behind other international actors. Notwithstanding an elusive European Union-GCC free trade agreement, German economic cooperation with its top trade partners in the region, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is expanding in line with opportunities presented by their respective “vision” strategies. However, there are other factors which continue to influence Germany’s engagement in the Gulf. These include Berlin’s application of values, preference for multilateralism within the context of self-interest, influence from the Us, changes in the international system and other competing (foreign) policy priorities, notably rising NATO-Russia tensions.

Robert Mason is a non-resident fellow with the Arab Gulf states Institute in Washington. He specialises in the foreign policies and international relations of the Gulf.

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