Straight after addressing CMEC's Annual Ambassadors Reception earlier this week, Lord David Cameron departed on his fourth visit to the Middle East as Foreign Secretary, starting in Oman and a meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi.
The Foreign Secretary is focusing on the de-escalating of tensions in the region and securing an immediate pause in the conflict in Gaza - to allow significantly more aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire. This follows regional travel last week where he met with leaders in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Qatar and Turkey.
The Foreign Office said the visit would also be an opportunity to move forward the Foreign Secretary’s work to establish a Contact Group between the US, UK, key EU, Gulf and Arab countries and Turkey, to use a pause in fighting to build momentum towards a lasting solution in Israel-Palestine.
The Houthi attacks on international shipping, which are harming regional security and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, are also set to be a major focus of his discussions.
Lord Cameron commented:
"The Houthis continue to attack ships in the Red Sea, risking lives, delaying vital aid getting to the Yemeni people and disrupting global trade. And we cannot ignore the risk that the conflict in Gaza spreads, spilling over borders into other countries in the region.
We will do everything we can to make sure that does not happen – escalation and instability is in nobody’s interests.
In Gaza, there is an urgent need for an immediate pause to allow aid in and hostages out. We are determined to do all we can to press for a sustainable ceasefire, and are stepping up our engagement with countries in the region to make sure that happens."