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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bahrain Ambassador Hosts Reception for UK Conservatives as Arab Diplomatic Dean

London, October 5th (BNA): Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to Britain and Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps in the UK, hosted a reception in honor of members of the ruling Conservative Party. The event took place on the sidelines of the party’s annual conference held in Manchester and was organized by the Council of Arab Ambassadors.

In attendance were James Cleverly, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, and Alicia Kearns, Chair of the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee. They were joined by senior officials of the Conservative Party, representatives from the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as ambassadors and representatives from various intellectual institutions and donor companies participating in the conference.

During the ceremony, Shaikh Fawaz extended a warm welcome to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, along with other distinguished guests. He highlighted the consistently strengthening Arab-UK relations and expressed optimism about further developments across political, security, and economic domains.

Shaikh Fawaz emphasized the ongoing constructive cooperation between Arab countries and the United Kingdom, spanning various fields, including renewable energy, environmental protection, tourism, and other areas of mutual interest. He also underscored the ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the Secretariat-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the UK government, highlighting the economic and investment opportunities it would bring.

James Cleverly, in his statement, affirmed the importance of UK-Arab relations and the promising opportunities for cooperation in areas such as the economy, health, green energy, environment, and culture. He spoke of his personal connection to the Middle East and North Africa region and his commitment to supporting its needs.

MP Alicia Kearns stressed the significance of the Conservative Party’s strong presence at the Council of Arab Ambassadors’ reception, underscoring the UK’s commitment to its Middle Eastern friends and allies. She mentioned the upcoming visit of members of the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee to the region to explore cooperation opportunities and address common challenges.

Throughout the four days of the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Shaikh Fawaz engaged in various meetings with UK senior officials and MPs and participated in numerous events. These included an entrepreneurs’ dinner banquet hosted by Jeremy Hunt, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and a panel discussion titled “Beyond the FTA: Understanding Regional Transformation and Expanding UK-GCC Relations.” This session was co-organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the UK and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, featuring prominent speakers and experts.

Addressing the session, Shaikh Fawaz highlighted the positive economic outlook of the region, with the GDP of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries set to reach $6 trillion by 2050, thanks to an annual growth rate of about 6%. He also noted the strong performance of GCC stock markets and the region’s prominence in the Global Competitiveness Index. Shaikh Fawaz emphasized the diverse investment opportunities available across various sectors and industries.

The Ambassador also underlined Bahrain’s role as a regional and global exemplar of peaceful coexistence, offering a valuable model amid ongoing conflicts and misunderstandings in the region.

Additionally, Shaikh Fawaz participated in a forum on the UK’s future trade relations with the GCC and MENA regions, organized by the Bahraini Embassy in collaboration with the Conservative Middle East Council. Lord Dominic Johnson, UK Minister of State for Investment, spoke at the event, highlighting the fruitful collaboration between Bahrain and the UK following the signing of a memorandum of understanding on a Strategic Investment and Collaboration Partnership. He emphasized the promising investment opportunities in the Arabian Gulf region.

(Courtesy BNA)

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