Lib Dems and Labour urge Cameron to withdraw Saudi Arabia support

The Saudi emir of Mecca, Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz, welcomes David Cameron on arrival in Jeddah in November [Image: AFP/Getty Images].

Britain has been challenged to withdraw its support for Saudi Arabia as chair of the UN human rights council panel as the closeness of the UK-Saudi relationship was dismissed as sycophantic by Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Labour called for an end to judicial cooperation with Riyadh.

The outcry from British politicians came after the Foreign Office initially described the announcement of the execution of 47 people, including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, as disappointing.

[Mr Farron said:] “The UK government has now got itself into a position where it is almost sycophantic to the Saudi Arabian regime. When things like this happen we need to be clear in our condemnation of them, not just because they are morally wrong, but because they undermine the diplomatic processes that are key to solving the Syria crisis.”

But in a sign of Britain’s close connections with Saudi Arabia, the former UK ambassador to Riyadh nonetheless said the recent executions of al-Qaida supporters, who were among the 47 executed on Saturday along with Nimr, were understandable.

Source: Lib Dems and Labour urge Cameron to withdraw Saudi Arabia support | Politics | The Guardian

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3 Thoughts to “Lib Dems and Labour urge Cameron to withdraw Saudi Arabia support”

  1. Disappointed? If Camoron was half decent he would be like any other British person and be absolutely disgusted at this barbaric act by the Saudi monsters.

  2. Shocking play down by Tories etc.. “Disappointing” and “Understandable”!!. In the context of these executions, language like that appears to sit too closely with words like Con-done.

    Shame on them all.

    And to think they wanted to build their prisons for them!!!

  3. Joan Edington

    “Given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, the Kingdom should never have been eligible for a place on the UN HRC, let alone gifted this incredibly important and influential position. Far from directing the appointment of special rapporteurs and other high profile UN human rights positions, Saudi Arabia should itself be subject to an investigation by the UN for its human rights record.

    “There are important questions to be answered about how this appointment came to be made in the first place, and whether the UK had any role in supporting the appointment, but most urgently the UK Government must now use the full resources of the UK delegation to the UN to call for Mr Trad to be removed from his position and to urgently seek a more appropriate appointment so that the UN Council for Human Rights can command the confidence of other member states and the public.”

    Called for in September 2015 by Stewart McDonald, SNP MP for Glasgow South, (jointly with Maggie Chapman of the Scottish Greens), but of course they are irrelevant.

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