Saudi-UK CEO Forum Held in London

Welby raises human-rights concerns during private meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince
Amid protests, UK rolls out red carpet for Saudi Crown Prince
Author

10 March, 2018

Since the Saudi-led military intervention started in Yemen in March 2015, the Arab world's poorest country has found itself on the brink of a devastating humanitarian crisis, with at least 10,000 people killed. "It is definitely not ethical, bearing in mind what is going on in Yemen every single day, every single second, even as we speak".

In his most outspoken remarks yet on the conflict, Corbyn said that "British military advisers are directing war" in the country.

James Jones, the producer and director of "Saudi Arabia Uncovered", said it felt like the UK Government was "getting away with moral double standards": "We are incredibly grateful to Stewart McDonald for hosting the screening of the film".

The prime minister praised Saudi's "ambitious reform program" and offered the U.K.'s support "to progress and intensify these reforms, particularly on women's rights, and on universal human rights", the Downing Street statement said.

However his charm offensive has been met negatively in the UK. This would be spread across sectors including finance, education, healthcare, renewable energy and defense, May's office said.

At the same time, Britain is trying to attract Saudi Arabia for the listing of state oil giant Saudi Aramco on the London Stock Exchange. Crown Prince Mohammed's visit to St. Mark's Cathedral is bound to shore up Sisi's standing with the Christian community as he heads into a frankly dubious election this month-an electoral ritual he will certainly win, since every credible opponent made a decision to drop out of the race, but weak turnout would be embarrassing.

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The crown prince and May will also host the first meeting of the new UK-Saudi "strategic partnership council" which officials say could lead to trade deals worth more than $100 billion.

Mrs May's spokesman insisted that she would not dodge questions over Saudi Arabia's human rights record during his visit - both at home and overseas. He will seek to present an image of a friendlier, more tolerant Saudi Arabia which is modernizing fast and open for business.

Photographs posted online showed London taxis displaying advertising graphics welcoming PrinceMohammed, and electronic billboards around the capital promoted pro-Saudi messages with the hashtag #anewsaudiarabia.

The Crown Prince is holding further talks with the PM at Chequers on Thursday, including a private dinner with Mrs May at her official country residence.

The spokesperson added the prime minister would "make clear that we urgently need to see progress on the political track... to end the conflict and humanitarian suffering in Yemen".

The UK has increased its weapons sales by around 500 percent since the onset of the Saudi invasion, according to a report by The Independent.


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