Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Saudi-UK cooperation is a two-way street

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is flanked by Prince Charles and Prince Harry at a dinner party in London Wednesday. — SPA Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is flanked by Prince Charles and Prince Harry at a dinner party in London Wednesday. — SPA
Charlie Simmons | 10 March, 2018, 01:41

The panel discussions and roundtables at the Saudi-UK CEO Forum focused mainly on women empowerment in Saudi Arabia and the transformations being taken place in both the kingdoms.

Not only is he young, ...

Outside Downing Street protesters organised by the Campaign Against Arms Trade are expected to gather. "In jobs, in our lives, in society, everything is going to change for Saudi women", said one of the joggers, university student Sama Kinsara.

The Saudi prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate, abolished almost a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Later this month, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman will also visit the United States.

Speakers at the first panel discussion, titled "An Era of Transformation: From Vision to Implementation" included Minister of Energy, Mining and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Kasabi, Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri, UK Special Representative on Saudi Vision 2030 Ken Costa, CEO of Dow Chemical Andrew Liveris and British Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman holds talks with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philippe Hammond in London on Thursday — SPA
Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman holds talks with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philippe Hammond in London on Thursday — SPA

During his recent visit to Egypt, his first foreign trip since becoming heir to the Saudi throne, the crown prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate which was abolished almost a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed, Reuters reported on March 7, citing Egypt's Al-Shorouk newspaper.

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. Media had already been told that the 32-year-old prince would meet the Queen, other royals and Prime Minister Theresa May - but thanks to a piece of paper flipped the wrong way, the world knows a lot more about what the crown prince is getting up to.

Following the talks, a Downing Street spokeswoman said May "welcomed recent reforms in Saudi Arabia, including on women" and had raised Britain's "deep concerns" at the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The public approval of United Kingdom weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and is only at 6 percent mark in Britain, according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar last June, suspending air and shipping routes with the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region's biggest USA military base.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a private meeting Thursday with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, where he made a "strong commitment" to interfaith dialogue, the archbishop's office said.

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