Britain's Foreign Secretary has welcomed his peers from the Gulf countries and praised the UK's relations with Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC).
In a press statement published on the website of the Foreign Office on Friday, 22 June, William Hague called the Arabian Gulf a strategically important region, with increasing political, cultural and economic influence. "Since the launch of the Gulf Initiative in 2010, we have worked hard to renew our historical ties and build closer relationships with our Gulf partners," said the Foreign Secretary. "The UK-GCC strategic dialogue is an excellent way of making sure we keep in close contact on key bilateral and regional issues."
The meeting held in London discussed ways to broaden UK-GCC cooperation in a wide range of fields, said Hague. "We agreed that a Joint Action Plan should be developed on issues that concern us all, including the maintenance of peace and security in the region, economic prosperity, and strengthening cooperation in trade, investment and consular activities." Also on the agenda were wider issues of concern which threaten the stability of the region, he added. "Specifically Syria, and how we can work together to increase the pressure on the Assad Government to end the violence and allow a political transition."
The Foreign Secretary revealed that international pressure on Iran regarding the nuclear issue will increase: "I also updated the group on progress in talks between Iran and the E3+3 in Moscow," he confirmed. "I made clear that we remain committed to finding a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, but that the pressure will only increase on Iran until it shows it is willing to take urgent, concrete steps to build confidence that its nuclear programme is purely peaceful."