Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed on second leg of Gulf visit

The UK prime minister visited the UAE earlier on Wednesday

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Saudi Arabia for an official visit on Wednesday, where he was expected to ask for an increase in Saudi oil production to counter the recent sharp rise in global oil prices.

On his arrival from the UAE, which he visited earlier in the day, Mr Johnson was received by the Deputy Governor of Riyadh, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz.

He later met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also attended the meeting, SPA said, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership council.

The two nations agreed to form a Strategic Partnership Council. No further detail on the purpose or membership of the council was given.

Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil producer in the world after the US, with Russia the third largest. The ongoing war in Ukraine has caused oil prices to rally and European nations are keen to move away from their dependence on Russian gas and oil.

Saudi Arabia and Britain share deep historical, cultural, trade links, with more than 200 joint ventures worth $17.5 billion between British and Saudi Companies, including in defence and clean energy.

Diplomatic ties are strong as their relationship dates back to 1848 when Faisal bin Turki, ruler of the Second Saudi State, asked for the support of the British Political Resident. The UK was among the first countries to recognise the country in 1926 and Saudi Arabia opened its first diplomatic embassy in London in 1930.

Currently more than 30,000 British citizens are estimated to be living in Saudi Arabia.

Updated: March 17, 2022, 10:29 AM