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Saudi Arabia (Buraimi)

Volume 721: debated on Monday 22 November 1965

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45.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in view of the improvement in Anglo-Saudi Arabian relations, what steps he is taking to solve the Buraimi problem.

During my recent visit to Saudi Arabia there was a frank exchange of views on the Buraimi question. I am afraid that differences of opinion persist, but I was glad to find that it was possible to discuss them in a spirit of mutual understanding and against a background of wider common interests; Her Majesty's Government—acting on behalf of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Sultan of Muscat—are continuing to look for ways of making progress.

Will the Minister of State give an assurance to the House that he will press on with this matter as hard as he can? Does he have any hope of an early solution? It would be most unfortunate if relations between Her Majesty's Government and the Saudi Arabian Government deteriorated as a result of not finding a solution to this age-long problem.

I should like to think that my own visit to Saudi Arabia led to an improvement in understanding between our two Governments and offered a means of carrying forward these discussions in a spirit of mutual understanding. We are very anxious to find an agreed approach to this problem.