Uk Relations: Saudi Arabia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 12:49 pm, 7th March 2018

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who rightly sets this in context. No one denies that there are difficult aspects to a relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, just as there are with a number of engagements the UK has with countries whose views and human rights issues we do not always share. But the important point he made is about having engagement to seek a common view of a future, one that, as he rightly says, is changing markedly and in a way that no one quite anticipated because of the arrival of the Crown Prince in his position. He could well have an influence on the region for the next 30 years, and our engagement and support for the moderate, modernising image he has for Saudi Arabia is important to all of us.