May defends United Kingdom ties with Saudi Arabia

"But we'll also be talking about the important relationship with Saudi Arabia in terms of trade but also security".

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.

"But we will also be talking about the very important relationship the United Kingdom has with Saudi Arabia, an important relationship in terms of trade but also in terms of security".

Ms May said that she wanted to be a role model to women in Saudi Arabia who may feel oppressed by restrictive laws by showing them "what women can achieve".

In an article for Philippines' Business World, Dr Fox wrote: The UK and the Philippines have a well-established and strong relationship built on a foundation of shared values and shared interests and we want this partnership to continue to flourish.

This is not the first time May has come under fire over her foreign trips since becoming prime minister past year. She has said that the "May doctrine" on foreign policy is pursuing the British national interest and not "sniping from the sidelines".

But the visit has proved controversial politically and with campaigning groups as the Prime Minister offers United Kingdom assistance to Saudi Arabia in reforming its Ministry of Defence, reviewing Saudi defence capabilities and the integration of its armed forces.

The two leaders discussed cooperation in bilateral relations.

During a 1985 visit to Saudi, Britain's first female prime minister wore a hat, gloves and a dress that covered her feet. In government - and among some who oppose the government on this - it's acknowledged that if Britain withdrew from lucrative arms deals, there's no shortage of competitors willing to oblige. Yet some MPs - on the Conservative side too - dislike the sight of Britain supporting a blockade in Yemen, and seeking to relieve the suffering it causes at the same moment.

In an interview with reporters onboard her plane to Jordan yesterday, Mrs May said she also hoped to use the trip to send a message about women in leadership - but stopped short of criticising the Saudi system which bars women from driving and forces them to obtain permission from a male guardian to travel or marry.

Saudi Arabia recently announced it planned to increase women s participation in the workforce from 22 to 28 percent by 2020.

"I've talked to the Saudis on a number of occasions now and I raise issues of this sort". We have already seen some changes.

Before heading to Saudi Arabia, May sought similar objectives in Jordan.

She (Munich: SOQ.MU - news) has faced calls to raise rights issues with the kingdom's leaders, primarily over Britain's arms sales to a Saudi-led military coalition battling Iran-backed rebels in Yemen since March 2015.

"Yemen urgently needs a ceasefire, a political settlement, and food aid, not more bombing", Corbyn added.

  • Salvatore Jensen