Visit by Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister, to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Qatar, April 1981

FCO 8/3820 1981 Jan 01 - 1981 Dec 31

This file relates to a visit by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to India, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States of Oman, the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Qatar. It contains correspondence and memoranda concerning:

  • Arrangements for the Prime Minister's accommodation in Oman
  • Possible Anglo-Saudi security cooperation in third countries, notably Morocco, Sudan, and the Yemen Arab Republic
  • Publicity and press arrangements and considerations; and the decision to arrange an interview with a female Saudi journalist, Miss Samira Lari
  • A draft pre-visit speech by the Prime Minister
  • Briefs on UK objectives, probable Arab objectives, and HMG's relationship with the UAE
  • The agenda for the Prime Minister's meeting with Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatari heir apparent, Minister of Defence, and Commander-in-Chief
  • The agenda for the Prime Minister's meeting with the Ruler of Qatar Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani
  • A draft programme for the visit
  • Instructions for the formatting of briefs
  • Briefs on Saudi Arabia, including a summary of sensitive topics, social customs, topics of conversation, the history and geography of the area, and personality notes on key figures, including King Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Prince Abdulla Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Prince Saud Bin Faisal Al Saud, Ahmad Zaki Yamani, Mohammad Ibrahim Mas'ud, Prince Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Hisham Nazir
  • An invitation for the Prime Minister to visit the G Dew & Company Limited ship construction site in Dubai
  • The question of the Prime Minister broaching consular cases with the Saudi Government
  • A steering brief for the visit to Qatar
  • Briefs on: Saudi facilities at Heathrow Airport; economic and investment questions; British Council activity in Saudi Arabia, particularly links to the University of Riyadh and the University of Petroleum and Minerals; a possible Land Rover assembly facility in Saudi Arabia; railways; Bidding for the housing contract for the Saudi Arabian National Guard; and the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation (ARABSAT)