UK must link up with developing nations that hold shared beliefs, says James Cleverly

UK foreign secretary to call for co-operation with countries set to become influential on world stage

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Sunday. PA
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James Cleverly will use his first major speech as Foreign Secretary on Monday to outline his vision for the UK to form long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with countries that are set to become more influential.

Mr Cleverly will say the UK should engage in diplomacy with countries at the forefront of future growth and development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

According to early released excerpts of his speech at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in London, he will say work with developing nations has led to reduced poverty, lower deaths in conflict and increased international growth.

Before the government’s revise of the Integrated Review of UK foreign and security policy, Mr Cleverly will promote mutual benefits of a strong relationship with countries that hold a shared belief in sovereignty, territorial integrity and free trade, and value of an international rules-based order.

At a time of international instability caused by the conflict in Ukraine, he will say these new relationships will be mutually beneficial based on the needs and strengths of these partner countries — spanning trade, development, defence, technology, cyber security, climate change adaption and environmental protection.

These will be backed up through British International Investment and the G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure. They will include aid, trade, an exchange of expertise and closer cultural ties.

There is a need to create a credible and reliable alternative to countries such as Russia, which test those principles and rules and actively and aggressively flout them, resulting in a huge loss of life, Mr Cleverly will say.

He will say this new vision will include a willingness to commit to a long-term foreign policy, which is designed for decades to come.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly BBC 1's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg on December 11. PA

“In the coming decades, an ever greater share of the world economy — and therefore of world power — will be in the hands of nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” Mr Cleverly is expected to say.

“I’m determined that we will make investments of faith in the countries that will shape the world’s future.

“We will show strategic endurance, willing to commit for the long term.

“I want our foreign policy to be constantly planning for tomorrow, scanning the horizon, looking 10, 15 and 20 years ahead.”

Updated: December 12, 2022, 4:43 AM