King Salman receives British envoy

King Salman receives Simon McDonald, the special envoy of the British premier, at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Sunday.

:: The special envoy of the British prime minister, Simon McDonald, on Sunday called on King Salman and conveyed British Premier Theresa May’s greetings to the king. The king also expressed his best wishes to May and her country.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed bilateral ties. Saudi Ambassador to the UK Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of State and Cabinet member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Simon Collis also attended the meeting.

Saudi Arabia and the UK enjoy strong ties. In March, the two countries agreed to boost mutual trade and investment to the tune of $90 billion in the coming years during a meeting between May and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In an interview with Arab News, Liam Smith, a director at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Thanks to the Vision 2030 program that seeks to diversify the Saudi economy and increase the country’s clout as an exporter of goods and services, the potential is there for Saudi Arabia to become an even more important trading partner for the UK than it already is.

“We have enjoyed many decades of exporting services, equipment and aircraft to Saudi Arabia. The point of a free-trade agreement is that it could be reciprocated in some form and I feel confident that Saudi Arabia will become a major exporter of goods and services. It is already making major strides in the area of ‘ease of doing business.’”

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