Foreign Affairs Committee - Fifth Report
The UK's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 12 November 2013.


Terms of Reference


Conclusions and recommendations

1 Introduction

Our inquiry

2 Broader context: UK ties with the Gulf

Historic ties with the Gulf States

Ongoing interests

UK Government policy: renewing ties

The UK's support for reform and human rights in the Gulf

A change of policy toward Gulf States?

3 Bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia

Historical ties

UK-Saudi diplomatic relationship today

Shared interests

Pursuing a 'strategic partnership' with Saudi Arabia

People to people contacts and public opinion

Engaging with the Saudi public

Economic and commercial relations

Saudi economy

UK-Saudi trade and commercial relations

Barriers to trade: visas

Defence sales to Saudi Arabia

Defence and security cooperation


Saudi Arabia as a foreign policy partner

Diplomatic capacity

Regional influence: a force for moderation?

Shared interests

Reform and human rights in Saudi Arabia: current situation

Political reform

Human rights

Is Saudi Arabia reforming?

How effectively is the UK supporting reform and human rights in Saudi Arabia?

Strategy of engagement

4 Bilateral relations with Bahrain

Why is Bahrain important?

A divided society

Close historical ties

Brief summary of recent political history

National dialogue

UK response to events in Bahrain: testing times for UK-Bahrain relations?

Criticism of the relationship

People to people contact and public opinion

Engaging with the public

Trade and commercial relations

Bahrain's economy

UK-Bahrain trade

Defence sales and export licences

Cyber technology exports

Defence and security relationship

UK-Bahrain military cooperation

Co-operation withdrawn?

The UK's support for human rights and reform in Bahrain

Ongoing violations

UK engagement on human rights and reform since 2011

Too close to Bahrain?

UK support for action by NGOs and International Organisations

Bahrain's international context

5 FCO resources in the Gulf

Staff resources

Arabic language skills

6 Future of UK-Gulf relations


Annex A: Committee meetings in Riyadh and Manama

Annex B: Informal meetings in the UK relevant to this inquiry

Appendix 1: List of MOUs and treaties between the UK and Saudi Arabia

Formal Minutes


List of printed written evidence

List of additional written evidence

Oral and Written Evidence

22 January 2013

29 January 2013

12 February 2013

5 March 2013

14 May 2013

18 June 2013

Written Evidence

Additional Written Evidence

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© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 22 November 2013