The magic of diplomatic gift-giving

Issue 1120 - 18 Feb 2021

A review of gifts given to ministers at the UK’s foreign affairs ministry over the past decade shows that by far the most consistent and generous givers are Middle East governments and, in particular, the Gulf states. Between early 2010, when available records begin, to the most recent filing covering Q1 2020, a total of 36 countries offered presents to British foreign ministers, but the six Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries between them accounted for 55% of all the 130 gifts handed over. Saudi Arabia alone was responsible for one-fifth of all the presents.

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