Mark questions Foreign Secretary on dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran

14th May 2019

Mark Pritchard calls on Foreign Office to act in the role of peacemaker and encourage dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran.


Perhaps the greatest role for the Foreign Office is to be peacemakers. What discussions has the Foreign Secretary had with Saudi Foreign Ministers, and indeed with the Iranian Government and other Governments in the middle east, to try to encourage ecumenical dialogue between the Shi’a and Sunni traditions within Islam?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that the UK, because of our historical links in the region, can play a positive role in bringing peace to troubled corners. The best example of that is what has happened in Yemen. Despite the fact that the conflict was started by the Houthis four years ago, I was the first western Foreign Minister to meet the Houthis—I met them on both 13 December and on 1 March. I was also the first western Foreign Minister to visit Yemen to see the other side, the Government of Yemen. We have played a constructive role in a ceasefire that appears to be taking root.