The British Foreign Secretary is in the Gulf today (Wednesday, 28 October 2015) at the start of a four-nation tour that will focus on regional security and the challenges of extremism.
During the visit, Philip Hammond will meet with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to discuss regional security and the crisis in Syria, ahead of talks in Vienna on Friday. At the weekend, he will give a speech on extremism at the eleventh Manama Dialogue security summit, held in Bahrain and hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The Foreign Secretary will discuss a range of issues with leaders in the region, emphasising the need to work together to maintain national security both in the UK and across the Gulf, citing extremism as ‘the great challenge of our time’. He will make clear that the UK’s national security is heavily linked to that of the region, highlighting continued commitment to a military presence in the Gulf.
During the Gulf visit, the Foreign Secretary will also discuss the ongoing conflict in Yemen. As usual on all visits, he will raise consular cases, including current Saudi judicial cases.
On Friday (30 October 2015), the Foreign Secretary will attend Syria talks in Vienna with Russia, the US, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Germany, France, Egypt and Italy to discuss options for a political solution to end the four-year civil war.