Building Bridges for Peace and Security in the Middle East
The UK’s Middle East Minister, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, embarks on a critical diplomatic tour across the Gulf region, aiming to fortify efforts towards achieving lasting peace and security. This visit underscores the UK’s commitment to resolving the ongoing tensions in Gaza and strengthening bilateral ties with Gulf allies.
A Journey Towards Lasting Peace
Lord Ahmad’s tour commences in Oman, moving through Kuwait, and concluding in Saudi Arabia. Meetings with key figures such as Saudi Arabia’s Vice Foreign Minister, Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, and Oman’s Undersecretary for Political Affairs are on the agenda. These discussions will focus on easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, seeking an immediate pause in hostilities, and working towards a sustainable ceasefire.
Countering Regional Threats
A significant portion of the Minister’s discussions will revolve around countering the Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea. The UK stands firm against these illegal actions, emphasizing the importance of regional stability and security.
Strengthening Bilateral Ties
Celebrating the ETA Scheme
The visit also celebrates the introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for Gulf nationals, a move that will facilitate smoother and more affordable travel to the UK. This development is a testament to the deepening friendship and cooperation between the UK and Gulf countries.
Collaborative Forums and Groups
Lord Ahmad will co-chair the UK-Oman Joint Working Group and the UK-Kuwait Joint Steering Group, platforms that exemplify the collaborative spirit driving the UK’s engagement in the region. These meetings are crucial for discussing mutual interests and enhancing diplomatic relations.