Foreign Secretary arrives in Saudi Arabia to drive diplomatic efforts on the conflict in Gaza and Southern Israel

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has travelled to Saudi Arabia and will hold high-level talks with regional Foreign Ministers.

The Foreign Secretary will reiterate the UK’s commitment to prevent regional escalation to the crisis and increasing the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza on a visit to Saudi Arabia on 9 November.   

James Cleverly will meet with Foreign Ministers from the Middle East, who are gathering in Saudi Arabia ahead of a League of Arab States emergency meeting on Gaza on Saturday.  

He is expected to raise efforts to prevent wider regional escalation, including in Lebanon and Yemen, and offer continued UK support to bolster deterrence and counter threats from malign groups in the region. 

The Foreign Secretary will also discuss initiatives to significantly increase the volume of aid reaching civilians in Gaza, including medicines, fuel and water, and ensure a pipeline of funds and supplies to support the relief effort. He will reaffirm the UK’s support for further humanitarian pauses in the fighting as soon as possible to deliver aid and provide a crucial window for hostages – including British nationals – to be released. 

In his meetings with counterparts, the Foreign Secretary will also reiterate the UK’s condemnation of the rise in settler violence and call for Israel to hold those responsible to account to improve the situation in the West Bank. He will outline the UK’s support for reinvigorating diplomatic efforts towards a achieving a viable two-state solution.  

His visit to Saudi Arabia follows on from his attendance at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, where attendees agreed on the urgent need to allow humanitarian pauses to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement and release of hostages.   

The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly said:     

I have been focused on diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages, to ensure that foreign nationals can leave Gaza, to deter any escalation regionally and to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid at scale.

I will continue this essential work in Saudi Arabia where I will meet with a number of my counterparts in the region to explore how we achieve those aims quickly and also look to the future of a lasting, peaceful, and prosperous two-state solution for both Israelis and Palestinians.

His visit follows the UK’s delivery of vital equipment and lifesaving aid to support civilians in Gaza and a £30 million increase in UK assistance to Occupied Palestinian Territories.    

Since Hamas’ terrorist atrocities on 7 October, UK government ministers have been engaging with countries across the Middle East, as well as the international community. The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary have all visited the region in recent weeks to push for lifesaving aid to get into Gaza, support the return of British nationals, prevent dangerous regional escalation and back Israel’s right to self-defence.


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