Can Liz Truss Strengthen UK-Gulf Relations?

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss envisions closer ties between Britain and the GCC to create jobs and make the world safer.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss envisions closer ties between Britain and the GCC to create jobs and make the world safer.

For British political journalists, August is the month to put down their pens, set aside their keyboards, and take holidays.

Parliament’s recess brings a respite from political news. Newspaper print dubious stories of great white sharks spotted off the coast of Cornwall or abandoned cats miraculously returning from London to their home in Aberdeen.

It’s called the silly season, but the silliness has failed to take hold this year. Since early July, the Conservative party’s leadership contest has taken over the newspapers.

11 Members of Parliament announced their candidacy at the start, which has now simmered to two. The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

The contest’s outcome will be declared on September 5, and the world’s oldest political party will have a new leader. And Britain, a new prime minister.

David Jones MP believes Liz will be an excellent leader and PM. He chairs the Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group for the United Arab Emirates.

Ms. Truss, he believes, recognizes the importance of the entire Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) for Britain and the regional stability and security.

Last year December, Britain’s Truss hosted the GCC foreign ministers at Chevening House. She said:

“Closer economic and security ties with our Gulf partners will deliver jobs and opportunities for the people of Britain and help make us all safer.

Partnerships with the Gulf in infrastructure will help prevent low-and middle-income countries from being strategically dependent on any single provider while also bringing clean growth and developing enterprise and innovation.”

“It is a win-win for all. I want us to develop deeper links in key areas like investment, trade, development, and cybersecurity with a region important to Britain’s long-term interests.”

The GCC and UK are now actively pursuing a free-trade agreement. Vitally important to both parties.

Analysts in the UK explain the proposed FTA, in 2019. The combined economies of the GCC were equal to the world’s 13th largest economy, with a nominal GDP of £1.3 trillion.

Outside the EU, the combined economy of GCC. Makes it the UK’s third largest trading partner, with a combined trade of £44.6 billion.

The Conservative Party will choose between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. In the race to become Britain’s next prime minister after Penny Mordaunt’s elimination from the race. 

In short, as former international trade secretary and current Foreign Secretary, Ms. Truss fully appreciates the importance of maintaining solid relations with our steadfast regional allies to the UK.

These relations will gain strength under Ms. Truss and further into a mainstay of regional and global security.

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