Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has been afforded a rare opportunity by having lunch with Queen Elizabeth — an engagement that signifies the importance in which he is held now by Her Majesty’s government, and one which has been a personal highlight during his three-day trip there. He also met the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and pledged to enhance and foster multi-faith understanding.
In London, he also met with Prime Minister Theresa May, underlining the close bonds between the UK and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the two nations have been close diplomatic allies and friends from the very formative years of the Saudi kingdom and before, and they are ties that will continue to endure despite the small but noisy element in the UK who fail to appreciate trade ties that exist, and the future opportunities that will arise. Both May and Prince Mohammad Bin Salman committed to reaching $90 billion (Dh330.3 billion) in upcoming trade deals. Indeed, Prince Mohammad’s Vision 2030 to reinvigorate and re-energise Saudi Arabia’s economy and society also present enormous potential opportunities for British-based businesses and corporations. And with Brexit imminent, the successful visit of Prince Mohammad afforded UK businesses an ideal opportunity to explore deep and meaningful trade ties further afield than the European Union they are about to leave.
The UK is an important ally in fighting terrorists and extremists and, as a veto-member of the United Nations Security Council, fully understands the reasons for and supports the Saudi Arabia-led international coalition — in which the UAE is proud to be playing an important role — that is acting on UN Security Council resolutions to restore the legitimate government of Yemen and counter Iran’s meddling and arming of Al Houthi rebels.