CMEC held its traditional Annual Arab Ambassadors’ Reception this week, (Monday 29th January 2024), in The House of Commons, with guest speaker, Lord Cameron, The Foreign Secretary. The event, which has become a staple in diplomatic diaries, was hosted by Rob Butler OBE MP, (Aylesbury), with Lord Soames of Fletching, and kindly sponsored by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, to commemorate 125 Years of Kuwait-UK Partnership.
Almost 200 guests, including the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, The Arab Diplomatic Corps, former security, diplomatic and military personnel, academics, journalists, and parliamentarians, gathered to hear the guest speakers, The Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton, and the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Ambassador of the State of Kuwait, H.E. Bader Al-Awadi, whose Embassy of the State of Kuwait sponsored the event, was present to receive thanks from the speakers, and talk with The Foreign Secretary.
The Director of CMEC, Charlotte Leslie, opened the event by calling the pavilion, packed with guests, to order. She introduced the host for the evening, Rob Butler OBE MP, recently appointed the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Morocco. Rob Butler is no stranger to the Arab world, having trained broadcasters in the region prior to entering politics.
The Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Sheikh Fawaz paid tribute to CMEC’s work, in building and nurturing UK – MENA relationships for more than forty years and emphasised the importance of these relationships in working urgently to end the tragic crisis in Israel-Palestine, and for a two-state solution.
Lord Cameron paid tribute to 125 years of Kuwait – UK partnership, emphasised the importance of UK-MENA relationships, and set out the steps and priorities for Britain and allies in bringing peace and security to both Israelis and Palestinians. His remarks were widely reported, including by the BBC (as above) and Andrew England for The FT.
Lord Soames of Fletching, CMEC’s Honorary President, gave the vote of thanks, especially thanking the Foreign Secretary, The Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, and the Embassy of the State of Kuwait, as well as the organisers and guests.