KSA, Britain to hold strategic dialogues every six months

KSA, Britain to hold strategic dialogues every six months

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman awards British Prime Minister Theresa May the King Abdul Aziz Sash during a meeting at Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh on Wednesday. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh —  Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed a number of issues of concern and reviewed bilateral ties during a meeting here on Wednesday.

The King held a luncheon banquet in honor of the British prime minister and her accompanying delegation.

May arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday on an official visit.

She met Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, a number of ministers and officials on Tuesday.

After the meeting May announced that Saudi and British foreign and trade ministers will hold strategic dialogues every six months to lay the foundations for a post-Brexit trade deal.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will visit Saudi Arabia in the coming months.

A Downing Street announcement on Monday said that it had drawn up plans with the Kingdom to boost support for Saudi Vision 2030 strategic plan for economic and social reform, spearheaded by Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, with whom May met on Tuesday.

May said in an arrival statement that the British government was a “firm supporter” of the Vision 2030 strategy, calling it “an ambitious blueprint for internal reform that aims to deliver greater inclusivity for all Saudi citizens.”

The British PM and London Stock Exchange chief executive Xavier Rolet met Aramco’s chief executive Khalid Al-Falih, who is also the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources.

Britain is trying to secure LSE’s hosting of the international component of the Aramco’s proposed flotation.

May and Rolet also met Saudi Public Investment Fund Managing Director Yasir Al-Rumayyan on Wednesday. The meeting covered a high-level overview of UK investment opportunities.

The British prime minister also met the head of the women’s section at the General Authority for Sports, Princess Reema Bint Bandar. They visited the Olympic headquarters in Riyadh and chatted with Saudi girls during a basketball class.

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