Cameron to discuss Gaza and promote investment in UK at Saudi Arabia summit

Lord David Cameron will use talks at a global summit in Saudi Arabia to push for an immediate humanitarian pause in Gaza and encourage investment in the UK.

The Foreign Secretary will on Monday attend the World Economic Forum, being held in Riyadh for the first time.

The Israel-Hamas war will be top of the agenda, with Britain working with Saudi Arabia and other allies to calm regional tensions.

The UK wants to see an immediate pause in the fighting to get more aid in and hostages out of Gaza, then progress towards a permanent and sustainable ceasefire.

The Cabinet minister will also seek to deepen ties with partners in the Middle East and boost inward investment to the UK.

He said: “It is a vital time to push for UK security and prosperity. We will be backing important trade and investment projects that will create British jobs while discussing important security issues, including Israel and Gaza.

“The UK and Saudi Arabia share close ties that mean we can work together to tackle the biggest issues facing the Middle East and the rest of the world.

“Achieving an immediate pause in Gaza, releasing hostages and ensuring aid reaches those who need it most remains a top priority and we will continue to work with key partners in the region to that end.”

It is Lord Cameron’s eleventh visit to the Middle East since becoming Foreign Secretary in November.

David Cameron visits Thailand
Lord Cameron will also seek to deepen ties with partners in the Middle East and boost inward investment to the UK (James Manning/PA)

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is also set to attend the summit to try to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and prevent a regional conflagration.

Saudi Arabia has worked with other countries to to contain the Gaza war and avoid a spiralling regional conflict that could derail its economic reform agenda known as Vision 2030.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed more than 34,000 people, according to local health officials, and left a swathe of destruction across the territory.

It was sparked by Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel in which militants killed around 1,200 people and abducted another 250 hostages.

The gathering in the kingdom’s capital will focus on revitalising global collaboration and access to development finance and energy.

Lord Cameron will speak at a session on rejuvenating growth.

His trip comes ahead of deputy foreign secretary Andrew Mitchell’s visit to Riyadh to co-host the second UK-Saudi development dialogue and the launch of the GREAT Futures campaign, which will promote UK business in Saudi Arabia.