PM meeting Saudi crown prince despite Yemen war crimes

The 32-year-old has led a purge of corrupt officials and replaced Saudi Arabia’s top army officers.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is starting a three-day visit to the UK amid protests planned against his country’s role in the war in Yemen.

Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is seen by some as a modernising force in the Gulf State.

He is due to hold talks with Theresa May and have lunch with the Queen.

The UK hopes to capitalise on the Saudi economy’s opening-up but No 10 said the PM would also express “deep concern” at the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Demonstrators are expected to protest outside Downing Street against the killing of Yemeni civilians in air strikes by a Saudi-led multinational coalition – backed by the UK and US – that is battling the rebel Houthi movement

Why the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit matters
Profile: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?
The crown prince, who is regarded as being heir presumptive to the 82-year old King Salman, is making his first visit to the UK since taking up the role last year.

He will also have dinner with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.

He is credited with kick-starting economic and social reforms in the conservative desert kingdom, such as the upcoming lifting of the ban on women driving.

Five things about Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

He also launched an anti-corruption drive that saw princes, ministers and influential businessmen detained and generated an estimated $106bn (£76bn) in settlements.

However, many have criticised his decisions to intervene in Yemen and impose a de facto blockade of neighbouring Qatar, as well as crack down on perceived opponents of his policies.

A new Strategic Partnership Council will be established which it is hoped could lead to Saudi investment in and through the UK of up to £100bn during the next 10 years.

‘Saudis high on wish list’
By BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale

When this relative novice on the world stage arrives in London on his first global tour since taking office, he will be granted the reddest of red carpets.

The Crown Prince is looking for international support for his internal economic reforms while at the same time trying to offer reassurance to nervous international investors.

And the British government is keen to transform a security and defence relationship into one that includes broader economic ties as well. The UK also has an unashamed appetite for inward investment from Saudi Arabia.

In other words, post-Brexit Britain will need allies, markets and money – and the Saudis are high on the UK’s wish list.

Read more from James

The conflict in Yemen is seen as part of a regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia, which backs the government, and Iran, which supports the Houthis but denies allegations that it is sending them weapons.

According to the United Nations, more than 9,000 people, over half of them civilians, have been killed and more than 52,000 injured in fighting in Yemen since March 2015.

Saudi Arabia allows women to join army
Saudi to lift driving ban on women
Downing Street said Mrs May would “acknowledge the steps” taken recently by Saudi Arabia to address the crisis but will stress the importance of “full and unfettered humanitarian and commercial access” through rebel-held ports under partial blockade by the coalition.

The PM will also call for urgent progress on securing a political resolution to the crisis, her spokesman said.

But Emily Thornberry, the foreign affairs spokeswoman for Labour, the UK’s main opposition party, urged Mrs May to use the UK’s influence to call on Saudi Arabia “to stop” the bombing in Yemen.

“We’re in a unique position to be able to intervene in this and to stop the war in Yemen and to do that as a friend,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Vans carrying billboards protesting against the visit have already been out in Westminister

“I would say our relationship with you is important – we need to be friends – but that it would be wrong for us to lie to you.

“You’re going too far in relation to what you’re doing in Yemen.

“We’re very concerned that you in Saudi Arabia now believe that can win the war in Yemen – you can’t win the war in Yemen – we all know that in our heart of hearts.”

Anti-war campaigners, including the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have accused the UK government, a leading exporter of arms to the Saudi capital Riyadh, of being “complicit” in coalition bombings in Yemen.

With many thanks to: BBC England for the origional story.

Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

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