London: British Foreign Secretary William Hague
promised on Thursday to woo neglected allies and win new trading
partners in an overhaul of the country`s "patchy" foreign
In a first major speech since the country`s
Conservative-led coalition government took office in May,
Hague promised to reach out to nations who claim to have been
overlooked while the previous governments led by Tony Blair
and Gordon Brown cozied up to Washington.
Countries including Saudi Arabia and India have
complained they were often ignored by the Labour government,
and claimed Britain only came calling in times of global
"In recent years Britain`s approach to building
relationships with new and emerging powers has been ad-hoc and
patchy, giving rise to the frequent complaint," Hague says in
excerpts of his speech released in advance.
Prime Minister David Cameron`s government has vowed to
build a so-called "new special relationship" with India,
suggesting the British administration sees future trading
opportunities with emerging markets as likely to be as
important as ties to the White House.
Britain plans to send government ministers and leading
business executives on new trade delegations across the world,
Treasury chief George Osborne has confirmed.
Hague planned to say his ministry`s new emphasis will be
to help boost exports to spur Britain`s economic recovery
after emerging from a deep recession, secure London`s role on
the world stage and bolster national security.
"The previous government had neglected to lift its eyes
to the wider strategic needs of this country ... what we must
do as a nation if we are to secure our international influence
and earn our living in a world that is rapidly changing,"
Hague`s text said.