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An agreement to strengthen ties between the UK and Gulf states will “deliver jobs” for British people and “help make us all safer”, the Foreign Secretary has said.
Liz Truss met with leaders from Middle Eastern nations on Monday to agree closer co-operation on trade, cyber security and green investment into low and middle-income countries.
Foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, the UAE ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, and the Gulf Co-operation Council secretary-general met with Ms Truss at Chevening House in Kent.
The Foreign Secretary said: “Closer economic and security ties with our Gulf partners will deliver jobs and opportunities for the British people and help make us all safer.
“Co-investing with the Gulf in infrastructure will help low and middle-income countries being strategically dependent on any one provider while also boosting clean growth and encouraging enterprise and innovation to flourish.
“It is a win-win for all parties. I want us to have much deeper links in key areas like trade, investment, development and cybersecurity with a part of the world that is important to Britain’s long-term interests.”
According to the Government, the group has agreed to work together to boost “clean, reliable, honest infrastructure financing into the developing world”.
The Gulf visitors also welcomed the relaunched British International Investment (BII) body, which will increase investments in infrastructure, tech and clean energy projects across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
The UK is also working towards a new free trade agreement with the Gulf Co-operation Council, with the aim of boosting investment and service industry links.
Trade between the UK and Gulf nations is currently worth more than £30 billion a year.
Earlier this month in her first major speech as Foreign Secretary, Ms Truss said that Britain and its partners needed to “be on the front foot” because “the battle for economic influence is already in full flow”.
Last week, the UK welcomed the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq al-Said to London for talks with the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary.
They discussed key issues including regional security, investments and trade.