The new head of the bloc had led numerous diplomatic roles in the past.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) named Jassim Al-Budaiwi as its new secretary-general, after his predecessor Nayef Al-Hajraf’s time in office came to an end, the bloc announced on Sunday.
In a statement, the GCC said Al-Budaiwi, also Kuwait’s ambassador to Washington, will commence his duties starting from next month.
“The Secretary-General praised the great diplomatic career of His Excellency Mr. Jassim Al-Budaiwi, who will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the regional and international status of the Cooperation Council,” read part of the GCC’s statement.
Al-Hajraf was appointed as the GCC’s chief in 2020 and served as Kuwait’s 19th minister of finance. He served as the bloc’s secretary general amid the region’s worst diplomatic rift in 2017.
At the time, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar. The crisis came to an end following the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration in 2021, which saw members of the quartet reconcile with Doha.
However, Qatar and Bahrain’s ties have yet to resume fully, especially when compared to relations between Doha and other former blockading countries.
Al-Hajraf was in Qatar last week where he met with Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the occasion of the end of his term.
Born in 1968, Al-Budaiwi has extensive political experience in the region.
Some of his previous positions include Kuwait’s ambassador in Washington between 2022 and 2023, and a non-resident ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg between 2017 and 2022.
Al-Budaiwi was also the head of Kuwait’s mission to the European Union between 2017 and 2022 after leading his country’s Head of the State of Kuwait’s mission to NATO between 2016 and 2022.
The newly-appointed GCC chief has also earned awards for his diplomatic work.
In 2014, he received the Excellence Award from the Asian Society Korea Center, and the Best Ambassador Award from the Korean Parliament in 2014.