By Arab News
Foreign Ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council and the UK said that the strategic UK-GCC relationship is essential in promoting peace, security, stability, and economic growth in the Middle East region and beyond.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met foreign ministers of the GCC and its Secretary General at Chevening, England on Monday.
During the meeting, the foreign ministers agreed the UK-GCC relationship will be strengthened across all fields and that they were committed to developing the partnership in emerging areas such as clean technology, digital infrastructure, and cyber.
The UK and the GCC already cooperate closely in a wide range of areas including political dialogue, security, foreign policy, trade and investment, and development.
The reenergised UK-GCC partnership will help keep UK and GCC citizens safe, and generate business opportunities and jobs, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said.
The UK and GCC member states emphasised the importance of enhancing people-to-people links, which are an essential element in promoting understanding between their peoples, and a key driver of innovation, business opportunities, and cultural and educational exchange.
The UK and GCC member states underlined their commitment to work together to identify bilateral opportunities for joint investment in infrastructure and clean technology in the developing world.
As a first step, they committed to develop mechanisms for strong partnerships on these issues and work together to develop a pipeline of potential joint investment projects.
The foreign ministers welcomed the ambitious five-year strategy and enlarged remit of British Investment International (BII), the UK’s development finance institution.
BII will play a central role in the UK government’s offer to help developing and emerging countries meet their significant financing needs for infrastructure and enterprise.
The foreign ministers also discussed the resumption of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action talks in Vienna, and underlined that this is the last opportunity to restore the JCPOA as Iran’s continued nuclear escalation is permanently eroding the benefits of the deal and undermining regional and international security.
They urged Iran to seize the current diplomatic opportunity to restore the JCPOA now to avoid bringing the region and international community to a crisis point.
Foreign Ministers also noted that a restored JCPOA is the best avenue towards inclusive, and more lasting diplomatic efforts to ensure regional security in a Gulf region permanently free of nuclear weapons.