Welby raises human-rights concerns during private meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince

She opined that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's overseas visits amounts to a last reconnaissance trip to find out whether Saudi Aramco should do the IPO in London, New York or Hong Kong.

Organised by Stop The War Coalition and Hands Off Yemen, hundreds of demonstrators stood outside Downing Street holding placards that read "Crown Prince not welcome".

"We are all concerned about the appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen and the effect that it is having on people, particularly women and children", she told Parliament. The Saudi Delegation will meet with the Prime Minister and high-level ministers of Downing Street to launch a Strategic Partnership Council between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia - an initiative to promote economic reforms in Saudi Arabia and promote cooperation on issues such as education, culture and security.


The Crown Prince is credited with kick-starting domestic reforms in the ultra-conservative desert kingdom such as the upcoming lifting of the ban on women driving and the re-opening of commercial cinemas after 35 years as well as tackling corruption within the government and the ruling Al Saud family.

Defense remains a vital partnership between the two countries as Britain is Saudi Arabia's second-biggest supplier of defense equipment and London-based based BAE Systems has been waiting for a follow-on order for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet after the initial Al-Yamamah sale of 72 of the warplanes in 2006. "And it's different and it's not only about politics, or military, or intelligence, but also socially and economically".

Earlier, junior foreign minister Alistair Burt responded to an emergency question in parliament about the visit by defending Britain's arms deals with Saudi, saying the regulations were "as strict as anywhere in the world".


Later this month, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman will also visit the United States. He went on to further criticise the Tory government for welcoming the prince. They follow a tumultuous period that saw a major military shake-up and a royal purge, part of a sweeping power play by the prince.

He added that the Saudi-UK Strategic Partnership brings together eight joint programs. Iran responded by calling the Saudi crown prince "immature" and "weak-minded".

This will also go beyond current trade relations with British non-oil exports to Saudi Arabia totalling 6.2 billion pounds in 2016 and imports from Saudi Arabia totalling 2.6 billion pounds.


State oil giant Saudi Aramco, whose lucrative stock market listing Britain is vying with the United States to attract, signed a preliminary deal to pursue worldwide gas opportunities with Royal Dutch Shell.

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