Visit Of Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia Concludes
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, HRH Mohammed bin Salman, concluded his three day visit to the UK yesterday with bilateral meetings with the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
During the visit, the Crown Prince’s first official overseas trip, he had engagements with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, and meetings with the Prime Minister. He also met the Archbishop of Canterbury, reiterating his vision of Saudi Arabia as a home of moderate Islam open to the world and all religions.
During the visit the Prime Minister and Crown Prince launched the UK-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council, where they committed to a long-term partnership supporting the Crown Prince’s reform programme ‘Vision 2030’ and further strengthening political and security cooperation.
Cooperation on Vision 2030 will involve Saudi trade and investment in UK sectors such as education, financial services, culture, healthcare, life sciences, technology, clean energy and defence. This investment will be aided by newly Special Representatives for Education and Health and the establishment of ‘Private Sector Groups’, led by UK experts in their fields, who will advise on delivery and Saudi reforms. The opportunities discussed this week are expected to bring over £65bn to the UK economy over a 10 year period, a recognition of the UK’s global leadership in these industries.
The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen was an important focus of talks. The UK and Saudi Arabia agreed on the importance of reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen and resolved to work closely together and with partners, including the newly appointed UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, to achieve this. The UK and Saudi Arabia will continue to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where the UK is the third largest humanitarian donor.
The two countries agreed to work together with the UN on a mechanism for payment of public sector salaries, protecting livelihoods and Yemeni institutions. The UK and Saudi Arabia will continue to strengthen the UN verification and inspection mechanism to ensure that all Yemeni ports can remain fully open to commercial and humanitarian supplies.
Speaking on Friday, the Foreign Secretary said:
"The Crown Prince’s sweeping reform programme is bringing positive economic and social changes to the country. These reforms are hugely beneficial to Saudi Arabia and, as we have seen this week with Saudi Arabia’s pledge to bring £65bn to the UK over the next 10 years, to the UK too.
"This landmark visit has been an opportunity to strengthen and broaden our relationship into new areas. Education, healthcare, clean energy, culture, sports and tech are all sectors where we have world-leading expertise and which are fundamental to the successful realisation of Saudi plans.
"On foreign policy we look forward to building on the important and productive discussions during this visit on Yemen as we seek to find a political solution to conflict.
"Of course, there are areas where we do not agree with our Saudi colleagues. But working closely together allows us to have constructive discussions on these issues, and we have used this week as an opportunity to do that."
Visit Of Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia Concludes, 10th March 2018, 10:35 AM