| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

British minister completes Gulf tour to boost ties

Looking to shore up economic ties between the UK and the region, Britain’s minister for Asia and the Middle East has completed a second trip to the Gulf.

Amanda Milling’s visit to Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar followed last month’s news that Gulf Cooperation Council countries would enter the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme exempting nationals from visa requirements, and the launch of discussions on a free trade agreement.

“Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are close friends of the UK,” she said in a statement. “We are making it easier for UK companies to trade with companies in the Gulf through a Free Trade Agreement and for citizens of the Gulf to travel to the UK.”

During her visit to the three countries, she discussed human rights, global health, security issues, and fostering ever-stronger trade ties between the UK and the region, noting the value of existing bilateral partnerships.

Milling met with Nasser Al-Khater, CEO of Qatar 2022, ahead of the World Cup to discuss what England and Wales fans can expect during the tournament.

She also congratulated Bahrain on its progress on human rights, and met with Emirati officials to discuss how to further the Partnership for the Future signed in 2021.

“In Bahrain, I reiterated that the UK is a reliable partner and we’ll continue to work closely together on many areas, including regional security, human rights and trade and investment,” she said.

“In Qatar I had the opportunity to discuss on-going preparations for the World Cup, and our support for a safe and enjoyable experience for British fans.

“And, in the UAE, my counterparts and I discussed the full range of shared priorities outlined in the Partnership for the Future, from boosting bilateral trade to regional stability and development.”

  • Arab News