Saudi prince says Turkey part of 'triangle of evil'

The Labour leader is told his claim is "simply untrue" as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets the Queen.

Both countries sense an opportunity to broaden their existing relationship: Britain is looking for trading partners as it exits the European Union, and Saudi Arabia needs to convince sceptical investors about its domestic reforms.

He was greeted by Boris Johnson upon his arrival, and has met the Queen for lunch. They are advising directly on the targeting of infrastructure and operations in Yemen.

The Save the Children charity protested the visit by installing a statue of a child near parliament "to draw attention to the violence that is being fuelled, in part, by British-made bombs".

Saudi Arabia has waged a long military campaign in Yemen in support of the internationally recognized government that Houthi rebels drove out of the capital, Sanaa.

May said all arms sales were strictly regulated, that Saudi Arabia's involvement in the conflict was backed by the U.N. Security Council and her government supported it.

Bin Salman, Thornberry said, was "the architect of the Saudi airstrikes and blockade in Yemen, funding jihadi groups in the Syrian civil war, ordering his guards to beat up the prime minister of Lebanon and in the eight months since he became crown prince doubling the number of executions".

A spokesperson for the PM said that Theresa May will raise Britain's "deep concerns at the humanitarian situation" in Yemen during talks with the Prince.

"The link that we have with Saudi Arabia is historic, it is an important one, and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country", May said in response to a question from opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Middle East minister Alistair Burt said Thornberry was not the sole holder of conscience in United Kingdom politics, and warned that if she was ever in government and seeking a relationship with the leader of a country likely to be the most powerful in the Middle East for the next decades, she might need to review some of her personal comments.

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Not only has the Crown Prince had lunch with the Queen, but he will also dine with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.

Britain is vying to land the stock market listing of state oil firm Saudi Aramco, but no decision is expected this week.

Demonstrators are protesting against Britain for licensing 4.6 billion pounds of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since 2015.

Business deals and initial agreements could be concluded on gas exploration, petrochemicals and other industries, according to British and Saudi sources.

The government tries to create a welcoming atmosphere for the Saudi crown prince in London.

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

However, human rights campaigners are planning a protest outside Downing Street at 5pm on Wednesday.

The criticism comes during a major row over bin Salman's three-day visit to the United Kingdom, which experts have called a state visit "in all but name".

The Muslim Association of Britain warned against entering into trade with Saudi Arabia "at the expense of essential values" and said recent "superficial" reforms by the Saudi government should not be taken at face value. "Theresa May is handing a major propaganda coup to the dictatorship", Al Jazeera quoted Andrew Smith of the UK-based NGO as saying. For the last three years, it has prioritized them over the lives of Yemeni people too.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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