Death of Jamal Khashoggi

Part of October EU Council – in the House of Commons at 6:33 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 6:33 pm, 22nd October 2018

My hon. Friend speaks extremely powerfully and he accurately points out the fact that autocracies are inherently less stable than countries that have democratic institutions, and there is a higher risk of appalling violations of human rights. It is fair to say that in the case of Saudi Arabia over recent years there has been a pattern of deterioration, but there have also been some conflicting signals, such as allowing women to drive and other things going in the opposite direction.

What I said clearly in my statement was that the impact in terms of consequences on our relationship with Saudi Arabia will depend on the confidence that we have that these kinds of incidents cannot and will not be repeated. Giving us confidence in the reform and renewal process, which is official Saudi policy, will be essential, and that needs to take on board many of the things my hon. Friend said.