Visit of David Owen, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, to Saudi Arabia, 12-13 May 1977

FCO 8/3043 1977 Jan 01 - 1977 Dec 31

This file relates to the visit of the Foreign Secretary David Owen to Saudi Arabia and Iran in May 1977 for the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) ministerial meeting. It contains correspondence concerning:

  • The question of the Foreign Secretary’s wife Deborah Owen’s programme during the visit; and the gifts she should bring
  • The travel and accommodation arrangements for the visit
  • The proposed gifts to be given to Saudi Arabia, including the Treaty of Jeddah of 1927 expressing friendship between Saudi Arabia and the UK
  • The question of who the Foreign Secretary will meet in Saudi Arabia; and the planned meetings with Crown Prince Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Prince Saud Bin Faisal Al Saud
  • The question of which Arab journalists to invite to the Foreign Secretary’s press conference upon his return
  • The question of importing supplies for the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia during the trip
  • The need to raise local matters in Saudi Arabia with Prince Fahd, particularly the lack of an international school in Jeddah, and the proposal to move diplomatic representation from Jeddah to Riyadh
  • A collection of briefs on various topics for the visit including: Anglo-Saudi relations; Saudi Arabia’s internal situation and external politics; the Arab-Israeli conflict, and in particular the situation of Jerusalem and Lebanon; African issues, including a brief on Zaire; finance and sterling; International Monetary Fund (IMF) credit; the Euro-Arab dialogue; oil; commerce; defence sales; personality reports; and local customs
  • Questions on the visit from journalists from Al Jazeera and Arab News