The emir of tiny, oil-rich Qatar visited Britain Tuesday for talks with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Cameron affirmed the relationship between the two countries and said they would build stronger ties in defense, foreign policy and gas trade.
The leaders also pledged to jointly promote peace and security in the Persian Gulf region — in particular finding a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, Cameron's office said.
Britain is seeking closer ties with Qatar, a British protectorate until 1971, as it attempts to woo new investors.
In May, Qatar Investment Authority — the country's sovereign wealth fund — bought London's iconic Harrods department store.
The emir said in an interview published Monday in the Financial Times that Qatar would also be interested in acquiring Britain's famed auction house Christie's.
He began his three-day visit Tuesday with Sheika Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned, the most high-profile of his three wives.
The pair were received later in the day by the queen, who hosted a lavish state banquet in Windsor Castle for them and another 160 guests, including Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.