Saudi Arabia and Britain enjoy ‘strong’ ties, UK FM Cleverly tells Al Arabiya

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The United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have “a strong bilateral relationship,” Britain’s foreign minister James Cleverly told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain over the weekend.

Cleverly also said that Britain has been working on a range of causes with Saudi Arabia to secure a better future for the world.

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“We… [are working together] on green energy generation and protecting the global environment.

“One of the things that we discussed with a number of our international partners is about energy security, making sure that we are able to light our homes and in the European winter, making sure we are able to heat our homes,” he said.

The Manama Dialogue which ran from November 18 to 20 brought together key senior government officials from the region and all over the world to discuss the latest challenges in defense, foreign policy and security in the Middle East.

“The point that I made here at the Manama Dialogue is that energy security, food security and security in its traditional sense are all linked,” Cleverly explained, adding that the focus of their discussions was the need to secure energy for poorer countries around the world to run their businesses and make sure they are safe and secure in their homes.

“All these things are best done in partnership, and I’m here in Bahrain talking to the international community about coordinating all those things with our friends here in the Middle East.”

Regional security

Aside from food and energy security, the top decision makers and government officials also discussed the state of the region’s security landscape.

“We have sadly seen a number of attacks by various groups against the member states of the GCC. We’ve seen attacks on Saudi Arabia[‘s] key infrastructure,” said Cleverly, also revealing that he was in Abu Dhabi during the Houthi missile attacks last year.

“It is incredibly important that we stand close to our friends in the region as we help defend ourselves against attack.”

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