Category Archives: MidEast

UK Support To Lebanese Businesses And Infrastructure Continues

UK support to Lebanese businesses and infrastructure continue in Lebanon’s second largest city, through ongoing investments

Ambassador Shorter tours Souks of Tripoli

Ambassador Shorter tours Souks of Tripoli

From rehabilitating the Old Souks to revitalising Talaat Al Refaei for better economic opportunities and improving social integration and stability, the UK is now supporting over 1 in 5 Lebanese municipalities across Lebanon with over $30 million over 18 months.

As part of his regular visits to Tripoli, British Ambassador Hugo Shorter accompanied by LHSP programme manager Raghed Assi, met with the Head of the Municipality Ahmad Kamareddine and discussed UK investments in the city. Ambassador Shorter also toured the historical Souks of Tripoli to see firsthand the launching of phase two of the Lebanon Host Communities Project with an additional $1 million to rehabilitate around 60 shops. The project will create direct jobs for Lebanese and Syrians during the rehabilitation of the Souk. Since 2011 the UK has committed over $900 million supporting Lebanon’s stability and prosperity.

By 2019 we will have reached over 1,440,000 people and more than 220 municipalities under the Lebanon Host Communities programme (LHSP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNDP.

At the end of his visit Ambassador Shorter said:

It’s always fascinating to return to Tripoli. Today was an opportunity to discuss with the Head of the Municipality projects aimed at providing better economic opportunities for shop owners in the city. Last year UK Aid invested in a $500,000 project spent on renovating the Souks and Talaat Al Refaaei under LHSP. I am pleased to see today the start of the next phase where we will be continuing the rehabilitation of the Souks with an additional $1 million benefiting around 60 shops. I’m proud to say that we, along with donors, are playing an active role in the city’s development.

Investment in infrastructure will benefit Lebanese citizens and support future economic growth, something that the Government of Lebanon is trying to achieve through the upcoming CEDRE conference in Paris matched with economic reforms. Since 2015 the UK has given $14 million in support to projects which enhance economic opportunities for vulnerable Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian youth in areas such as Tripoli and the Bekaa.

Shop owners in the Souks said that such projects will have a positive impact on their livelihoods, income and that they are not forgotten, generations to come will be grateful for this support.

Ambassador Shorter also visited MP Sleiman Franjieh and discussed the latest local and regional developments.

Human Rights Council 37: Human Rights Of Children In Syria

This joint statement was delivered on behalf of the Syria core group at the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council during the High-level panel on human rights of children in Syria, held 13 March 2018

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Syria core group of France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States and UK. We welcome the opportunity to focus attention on the violations and abuses of the human rights of children in Syria and to hear from civil society.

After almost seven years of war, millions of Syrian children have known nothing but conflict. They are being robbed of their childhood and future. They bear both physical and psychological scars, which they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Recent reports show that Syria is the most dangerous country in the world to be a child. Children are being killed and injured because of airstrikes and attacks by pro-regime forces. They are missing their education because around one in three schools have been destroyed or damaged. The destruction of medical facilities, as well as imprisonment and killing of healthcare workers, means children and their families are being denied essential medical care. The abhorrent siege of Eastern Ghouta has led to nearly 12% of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Children are being illegally detained – primarily by the Assad regime – and subjected to torture and sexual violence. They have also been forcibly recruited and used by regime forces and terrorist groups. This has resulted in them being exposed to extreme violence, and forced to carry out terrible crimes.

The international community must do more to protect children and to ensure that there is accountability for those who have violated or abused their rights. We must ensure that the children of Syria have a better and safer future.

UK Hosts First Joint Executive Committee On Healthcare With Saudi Arabia

The meeting allowed minsters to discuss a future healthcare partnership between the UK and Saudi Arabia

Healthcare Delegates

Healthcare Delegates

Delegates from the UK have met with delegates from Saudi Arabia for the first joint executive committee on healthcare. The meeting was headed by Minster of State for Care Caroline Dinenage and Saudi Minister of Health Dr Tawfiq Al Rabiah.

The inaugural meeting was held at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. It provided an opportunity for the 2 ministers to open discussions on a future healthcare partnership between the countries, particularly in relation to:

  • patient safety
  • digital innovation
  • public–private partnerships

Two commercial partnerships were also signed at the meeting:

  • Babylon – memorandum of understanding highlighting the future delivery of health solutions for the Saudi Ministry of Health through their local partner Thiqah using Babylon’s artificial intelligence application
  • Datix, HealthMatrix and Saudi Patient Safety Center – contractual agreement covering the terms and conditions for the delivery of a nationwide patient safety software to the Saudi Ministry of Health and other healthcare sectors

Saudi Arabia has one of the largest and fastest-growing populations in the Gulf region, and healthcare is a crucial sector. Like the UK, Saudi Arabia is seeking an exchange of healthcare expertise that will deliver world-class sustainable healthcare in the future.

Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage said:

Our partnership with Saudi Arabia will have an important impact on the prosperity of our nations and our citizens – paving the way for new approaches to healthcare that can both benefit and improve patient safety.

Today’s signings are also a measure of the confidence industry has in long-term UK–Saudi economic partnerships that will help us to diversify and transform services.

His Excellency Tawfiq Al Rabiah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said:

These partnerships will provide the health sector with a greater opportunity to develop and improve upon the services provided to the beneficiaries within the Kingdom, through sharing experiences with the United Kingdom and utilising the latest technologies for a better and more efficient healthcare for all.

UK Sends Strong Royal Navy And Industry Team To DIMDEX 2018

'Collaboration in future technologies' is the main message from the UK as they send a strong delegation to DIMDEX 2018 in Qatar

RFA Cardigan Bay

RFA Cardigan Bay

Fleur Thomas, Regional Director in the Department of International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation (DIT DSO), is leading the UK delegation. In addition, ships from the Royal Navy are attending. This strong UK presence reiterates the importance of the strategic defence and security relationship between the UK and Qatar.

The UK government delegation will be supporting UK companies displaying and demonstrating a range of world-leading defence and security technologies. The UK’s capability themes include:

  • maritime security
  • technological support to operations
  • disaster relief
  • cyber

The United Kingdom has supported the DIMDEX exhibition since its inception and has a proven track record in delivering capabilities and solutions, with significant transfer of technology, to allies across the world. The UK team will be also be building on their international reputation for establishing successful partnerships and international collaborative arrangements and seeking to develop closer links with governments and industrial partners across the region.

Fleur Thomas said:

I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit DIMDEX 2018 to highlight the UK’s important defence and security relationship with Qatar.

DIMDEX 2018 is an important regional maritime forum and provides real opportunities for the international naval maritime community to work together and learn from each other.

I am at DIMDEX 2018 to encourage ever greater industrial cooperation and to press forward in identifying new areas for cooperation.

The UK has a significant range of world-class technologies across the air, land, maritime, security and cyber sectors and DIMDEX 2018 presents an excellent opportunity for us to show the best that Britain has to offer and find common ground on which partnerships can be built.

Speech: Foreign Secretary Remarks On The Visit Of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

Opening remarks delivered alongside Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

It’s a pleasure to welcome my friend, His Excellency Adel Al-Jubeir, and I’m delighted that His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has chosen to come to Britain during his first official visit overseas.

This is a moment of huge significance in Saudi Arabia when ambitious reforms designed to achieve economic and social renewal are taking place.

In the nine months since His Royal Highness became Crown Prince, we have witnessed changes that would have been hard to imagine just a few years ago, and as a longstanding partner of Saudi Arabia, Britain will do everything in our power to support those reforms and help advance the ambitions contained in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Adel and I have just come from Downing Street and an afternoon of excellent meetings that we had with the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness and I believe this occasion marks the beginning of a new era in our friendship because the very breadth and ambition of Vision 2030 allows our relationship to move forwards to include cooperation in education, health, culture, sport and technology, with it creating new opportunities for British companies and delivering jobs and growth here in Britain.

And I’m delighted that we’ve reached an agreement that should lead to new Saudi investment in and through Britain, and procurement in companies worth up to £65bn, virtually $100bn, over the next 10 years. Providing a vote of confidence in London as the leading financial centre in the world.

Today, our talks have focused on how the UK can use its world-beating expertise to support Saudi Arabia’s reforms and how we can work together to end the tragic conflict in Yemen.

It is vital that we bring this appalling conflict which has inflicted so much humanitarian suffering to an end. Britain supports Saudi Arabia’s right to defend its national security against missile attacks from Yemen, many of which have targeted the Kingdom’s cities, including Riyadh.

Any solution to the conflict must ensure that Saudi Arabia no longer faces this cross-border security threat. Today we have agreed to strengthen the UN inspection of shipping in order to ensure that all Yemeni ports remain open to the humanitarian and commercial supplies that Yemen’s people so desperately need.

We also call on the Houthis to do what they must and allow unimpeded humanitarian access in the areas that they control.

We will redouble, we in the UK will redouble, our efforts to support the UN political process and we hope to convene our counterparts from the US and the United Arab Emirates before Easter in order – that’s to say, Adel and I will do that, in order to make more progress towards a political solution which we believe to be absolutely vital.

I’m delighted that Saudi Arabia will also develop a plan for the reconstruction of Yemen after any settlement of the conflict.

Saudi Arabia is changing and so is Britain’s partnership with the Kingdom in order to benefit the security and the prosperity of both our Kingdoms for many years to come.

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