Coronavirus: UK minister thanks UAE for help getting Britons home

James Cleverly told Dr Anwar Gargash that co-operation between their countries was helping in fight against pandemic

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , Feb 24  – 2020 :- Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates speaking during the Gulf Security Symposium held at The Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi. (Pawan  Singh / The National) For News/Online.  Story by Daniel
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A senior British government official has praised the work of the UAE in helping to repatriate UK citizens amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Middle East Minister James Cleverly said co-operation between the UK and UAE "is helping us to meet the challenges presented by the coronavirus".

Speaking with Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Cleverly thanked the UAE for its support and for keeping the airports open.

Hundreds of British citizens travelling in the UAE were able to fly home this month on specially organised flights.

The UK and UAE have also signed an agreement that allows Britons stranded abroad to transit through the Emirates on their way home.

"The generosity of our friends in the region has helped many British citizens to return to their country as we fight together a pandemic," said Sir John Lorimer, senior defence adviser on the Middle East to the UK government.

Patrick Moody, British ambassador to the UAE, said this week that flights were continuing to help UK citizens who wanted to return home.

Mr Cleverly also spoke to Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, and thanked him for the kingdom's co-operation.