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Britain Stresses Importance of Social, Economic Ties with Arab World

posted on: Oct 27, 2009

The British government has stressed the importance of Britain’s social and economic relationship with the Middle East.

“Our bilateral relationship is built on Britain supporting the young people of the Middle East by investing in community sports programs to encourage young people to do more sport, remain active and lead healthy and happy lives,” Ivan Lewis, British Foreign Office Minister, told the Arab British Economic Forum conference on Tuesday.

During the opening speech, Lewis highlighted many examples that had shown Britain-Arab cultural relations were deep and ingrained.

The British Council had supported 40 million people across the Middle East already learning English and the 800,000 people trying to teach it.

Meanwhile, Lewis also acknowledged there were still some very serious obstacles to overcome in the region, noting that the terrible bomb attacks in Baghdad on Sunday reminded people of the fact that, despite the overall improvement in security in Iraq, there was still some way to go.

“And of course there are challenges. The road has not always been smooth and there will be difficulties, inevitably, in the future. But our objective is the same — a peaceful, stable and secure global future where economies and individuals can thrive,” he said.

“We remain committed to working with the government of Iraq on a number of diverse issues and I have every confidence in the determination of the people of Iraq in ensuring that their country continues on its path to stability,” he added.

China View