Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Iran tops agenda as Saudi and British foreign ministers meet

Faisal bin Farhan said Middle East stability and peace was a priority

It was the first Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with his Saudi opposite number. Getty
It was the first Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with his Saudi opposite number. Getty

The British and Saudi foreign ministers met in London on Monday to discuss the simmering tensions in the Middle East.

Dominic Raab and Faisal bin Farhan held their first talks in person since the Saudi minister was appointed last year.

A focus of the talks was the role of Iran with the uncertain outlook for the 2015 nuclear deal and the heightened tensions following the killing of top general Qasem Suleimani earlier this month in Baghdad.

“I was pleased to meet my colleague Dominic Raab today in London to discus our two countries’ strong bilateral relationship and our continuous coordination to bring about peace and stability to the region,” Mr Farhan said.

The UK is continuing to work with international partners to deescalate tensions and conflict in the Middle East. Today I had a good first meeting with Faisal bin Farhan to discuss the challenges facing the region,” said Mr Raab.

Britain, France and Germany recently triggered a formal dispute process of Iran’s failure to abide by the limits of the 2015 accord, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Saudi Arabia and Britain have largely put on a united front against Iran’s regional aggression, including its seizure of vessels in the Arabian Gulf.

Earlier this month the Saudi deputy defence minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held talks with British security officials in the wake of the Suleimani death.

“Iran has an expansionist ideology. Iran wants other states in the region not to be out partners but to be under the Iranian expansionist project,” Prince Khalid recently said.

Updated: January 27, 2020 05:14 PM

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