In an exclusive interview to Qatar News British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that his meetings in Doha discussed several issues, including regional policies, bilateral security, defence ties, and economic, commercial and investment plans between Qatar and the UK.
He described the visit as successful, highlighting the strong ties between his country and Qatar at the political, economic and security levels.
As for GCC-British co-operation, Hammond said that during his current tour of the Gulf states he has held talks on regional and international issues, notably the critical role of GCC states in fighting the ISIS group and working to tackle regional challenges, particularly the crisis in Yemen.
The British official said his country’s views on the Yemeni crisis and the mechanism for resolving it are fully identical with that of the GCC, adding that the United Kingdom is committed to supporting the Yemeni people to help the country have a peaceful future.
The UK foreign secretary also rejected Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the states and its attempts to dominate the region, particularly in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, pointing out that the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran is a step forward to protect the security of the Gulf against the threats posed by nuclear weapons.
While lauding the agreement, he said: “We are fully aware of the fact that Iran continues its illegal activities that are destabilising neighbouring countries and continues to conduct missile tests in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
“We have to demonstrate that there is an alternative future for the younger generations across the Middle East and North Africa region,” the UK foreign secretary said, pointing out that violence and extremism are not a means to achieving a better life and that the practices of Islam are compatible with economic development and achievement of good growth rates as well as better standards of living, as it is the case in the Arab Gulf states.
Source: Gulf-Times, 31 May 2016