May lobbies for Saudi Aramco listing

Two RAF Tornado aircraft during a training exercise

"Unless the Prime Minister challenges the Saudi regime over its abuses, it would be very clear that she is sacrificing human rights", she said.

"Whatever deals Mrs May secures during her time in Riyadh, there should be one business arrangement that is immediately suspended - the sale of all United Kingdom arms to Saudi Arabia that could be used to carry out yet more atrocities in Yemen", Hogarth added.

"As it stands, the British-Saudi relationship is damaging to the people of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the wider Middle East, and helping to export insecurity to the rest of the world".

Saudi Arabia has bought more than Dollars 5 billion (4.7 billion euros) worth of arms from the United States and Britain since then, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute think tank says.

May has been urged to press Saudi leaders on the country's bombardment of Yemen, in a conflict which is estimated to have killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced more than 3 million people. "What matters is that we have the relationship of engagement that enables us to do that", she told Sky News.

No 10 officials said the prime minister had set out "the sort of depth of expertise that there is in London and the United Kingdom in terms of financial services, and also the supporting ecosystem - accountancy, legal and also the depth of investment opportunities that there are in the UK". She will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks focused on trade and investment as Britain begins the process of leaving the European Union.

Saudi Arabia launched the offensive against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to bring back the former government to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The countries, she said, were "important for us in terms of security, they are importance for us in terms of defence and yes, in terms of trade".

Saudi Arabia is preparing to list less than 5 percent of Aramco next year in what could be the largest flotation in history.

'We are firm supporters of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an ambitious blueprint for internal reform that aims to deliver greater inclusivity for all Saudi citizens, something we agree is essential to Saudi Arabia's long-term stability and success.

Fighting between government forces - backed by a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf States - and Houthi rebels in Yemen has left the country on the brink of starvation with thousands dead.

An even deeper partnership with these countries, and greater knowledge and understanding of one another, will increase our ability to address the issues that concern us, including the promotion of global standards and norms.

The premier also said her presence in Saudi Arabia would show "what women can achieve".

Related:

Comments


Other news