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Co-operation and UK Foreign Ministers discuss regional and international files

Co-operation and UK Foreign Ministers discuss regional and international files

During the meeting with the British Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development, the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council discussed key regional and international files of common interest and areas of cooperation between the GCC countries and the United Kingdom.

Lana Zaki Nusaibe, Minister of State for International Cooperation for Assistance in Foreign and Political Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the United Arab Emirates, represented the State at a meeting in Sevening, London on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Foreign Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah and Joint Minister of Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Abdul Latif Al Jayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman Naib Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Council and Elizabeth Truss, British and Foreign Affairs Minister.

Strengthen relationships

During the meeting, the Foreign Ministers agreed to strengthen relations in all fields between the United Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The UK and GCC countries work closely together in a variety of areas, including political dialogue, security, foreign policy, trade and investment and development.

The foreign ministers expressed their commitment to expanding partnerships in emerging areas such as clean technology, digital infrastructure and cyber issues as part of efforts to create security and jobs.

The ministers also stressed the importance of strengthening interpersonal relationships, noting their role in enhancing understanding among the people and promoting innovation, business opportunities and cultural and educational exchanges. They reaffirmed their belief that an ambitious strategic partnership between the UK and the GCC was essential to promote peace, security, stability and economic growth in the Middle East and beyond.

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In the field of trade and investment, the Foreign Ministers welcomed the completion of the UK-GCC Joint Trade and Investment Review in June 2021, which was a key milestone in establishing free trade between the UK and the GCC countries, and towards the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which expires on 14 January 2022. They welcomed the recent progress in promoting trade between the regions by urging them to act quickly, removing trade barriers and facilitating economic cooperation.

Increasing the level of investment

Foreign ministers acknowledged that raising the level of transparent and credible investment in international and high-income countries at high levels is an essential element in promoting sustainable growth and combating climate change. The UK and GCC countries have reaffirmed their commitment to identifying bilateral opportunities for joint investment in infrastructure and clean technology in developing countries. Ministers expressed support for the Fifth United Nations Conference on Low-Developing Countries (LDC5) to be held in Qatar next January.

With regard to foreign policy and regional security, the United Kingdom and the GCC continued to emphasize close cooperation in foreign policy and regional security. The foreign ministers agreed on their vision for stability and prosperity and to prevent the spread of terrorism in the region and beyond. The foreign ministers also discussed various topics, including the peace process in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Joint exercises

In the field of defense, the Foreign Ministers welcomed the close co-operation between the United Kingdom and the GCC countries on security matters and agreed to continue liaison between their Armed Forces. The Gulf Cooperation Council and the UK Foreign Ministers renewed their commitment to counter-threats and security in the region through joint exercises.

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Respect for the sovereignty of the states

They called on all nations to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other nations, to support freedom of navigation and to allow unrestricted access.

With regard to climate and the environment, the British side accepted the promises of climate change by the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and welcomed their contribution to COP26, including statements issued to achieve climate neutrality. The British side congratulated the United Arab Emirates on winning the hosting of COP28, noting that these are important signals to the international community about the region’s mission to protect the environment for future generations.

Ministers concluded the meeting by emphasizing the importance of pursuing the outcome of a fruitful discussion in the future and thanking Elizabeth Truss for hosting the meeting. (WAM)