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The UK's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

19 September 2012

The Foreign Affairs Committee today announces an inquiry into the FCO's foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in the broader context of relations between the UK and the Gulf States.

The Committee invites written submissions, with a particular focus on the following points:

  • the UK’s foreign policy priorities in its relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and how effectively the Government balances the UK’s interests in defence, commerce, energy security, counter-terrorism, and human rights;
  • the extent to which the FCO’s Gulf Initiative has met its objective of improving relations with the Gulf States more generally and establishing the UK as a “key strategic partner” in the region as a whole;
  • Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as foreign policy partners for the UK, particularly with regard to Iran and Syria and as members of international and regional organisations;
  • the implications of the Arab Spring for UK foreign policy in its relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain;
  • how the UK can encourage democratic and liberalising reforms in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, including its power to effect improvements;
  • the long-term trends and scenarios in the region for which the FCO should prepare, and the extent to which it is doing so;
  • the extent to which the FCO has the resources, personnel and capacities required for effective policy in the region.

Call for evidence:

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry on the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in the broader context of the UK’s relationship with the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait). Written evidence should be received by the Committee no later than Monday 19 November 2012.

Form of written evidence:

Submissions must be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise or experience;
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses; and
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

Submissions should be in MS Word format with as little use of colour and logos as possible. 

Further information on submitting evidence is available in the Guide for witnesses.

Submitting evidence:

Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to and the email entitled “The UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain”. Paper copies may be sent to Foreign Affairs Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Inquiry-related questions:

Please contact Zoe Oliver-Watts, Committee Specialist, on 020 7219 3613 or by email to

Media enquiries:

Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488488, or by email to