Theresa May pushes for Saudi energy giant to list shares in London
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 8:53
The emphasis on the UK-Saudi relationship has drawn sharp criticism from some MPs and human rights activists, who have been disappointed by May's decision to make the country one of her first stops to explore new trading partnerships after the triggering of article 50 last week. "We will be supporting that through the aid and support that we give", she said.
During the meeting at the Royal Palace, King Salman awarded the Prime Minister the Order of King Abdulaziz, an honour that has been bestowed previously on other leaders including David Cameron, Barack Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Prime Minister is also due to meet Princess Reema while in Saudi Arabia.
The war has killed at least 4,770 civilians and wounded more than 8,200 according to the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"He called on Britain to halt arms sales to Riyadh immediately and to push for a ceasefire in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has for two years led a Gulf military campaign against Iran-backed Huthi rebels".
"But as I said when I came to the Gulf at the end of past year, Gulf security is our security and Gulf prosperity is our prosperity".
The leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said May must put human rights and global law at the center of her talks with Saudi Arabia's government.
The meeting also comes in the backdrop of Saudi's war with Yemen which has been criticised by several rights group for human rights violations.
"But I hope also that people see me as a woman leader, will see what women can achieve and how women can be in significant positions".
"The important thing for the United Kingdom when we meet people and we want to raise issues of human rights - and that may be in a number of countries around the world - is if we have the relationship with them, then we are able to do that".
"Numerous human rights organisations, including the UNHRC and Amnesty International, have documented the dictatorial Saudi monarchy's shocking human rights record".
Vision 2030's goals included increasing women's participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%.
She has said she hopes to be an example of the role women could play in any society.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in charge of the Saudi Arabia's economic policy, has said the IPO will value Aramco at $2 trillion or more, which is around two-thirds the size of the entire London Stock Exchange.
No 10 said that Britain will support Saudi Arabia to increase opportunities for men and women across the country to participate in sport.