The City of London’s mayor Lord Jeffrey Mountevans described British- Saudi relations as historical and strong and said that Britain’s alliance with Saudi Arabia is “important”.
Lord Mountevans is heading a big economic delegation on a tour of the Gulf that starts next week during which he will visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. The visit aims to strengthen relations, protect British interests and encourage Gulf investment in British real estate, infrastructure and other focal economic areas.
Lord Mountevans said in a closed press meeting in London yesterday that the timing of the visit is extremely important and referred to the recent heightened tension in the region. He commented that “We would like to reassure our allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, that Britain is committed to the relations between our countries”.
Speaking about the objectives of the visit, Lord Mountevans told Asharq Al-Awsat that it aims to preserve historical British friendships with the countries of the region and build new relationships.
As for the economic reforms adopted by Riyadh in order to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil and gas, Lord Mountevans said that London is prepared to provide its expertise in the various economic sectors to the Saudi government and companies especially as the economic relations between the two countries are based on strong credentials to build competitiveness in the market and develop infrastructure. He also noted that the reforms adopted by the government to diversify the economy are within the framework of the development of education, vocational training and infrastructure and that British companies can contribute to all of these areas.