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Prime Minister visits Saudi Arabia

Building a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia is vital to advancing the United Kingdom's priorities in the region

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Prime Minister has travelled to Riyadh as part of his ongoing efforts to strengthen the UK’s relations with strategic partners around the world.

Saudi Arabia has unique influence in the region and across the Islamic World as the custodian of the two holy places; a member of the Gulf Co-operation Council and the only Arab member of the G20. Saudi Arabia is also the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade worth over £15 billion every year and Saudi Arabian investment in the UK is worth more than £62 billion.

Building a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia is vital to advancing the United Kingdom’s priorities in the region:  increasing exports and investment; boosting  energy security and creating jobs; co-operating on security, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism; and promoting stability through political reform and human rights.  That’s why Britain is committed to its long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia, as a key partner to deliver these goals for the people of the UK and of the region.  For example, Britain and Saudi Arabia are both actively supporting the Arab League’s efforts to bring an end to the killing and repression in Syria.

The Prime Minister met Prince Saud Al Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September and they agreed to strengthen co-operation between our two countries.  On this first visit to Saudi Arabia since he came to office, the Prime Minister will meet with King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayif. 

The leaders will discuss the full range of regional issues, the global economic situation, and proposals to broaden and deepen the UK-Saudi partnership on issues from social development to security to business relations.

Published 13 January 2012