Saudi Arabia: Execution of Hussein Abo al-Kheir - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:01 pm on 16th March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 2:01 pm, 16th March 2023

I thank the noble Lord for his kind remarks and note the involvement of his honourable friend the Member of Parliament for Enfield, Southgate, who got in touch with me on Saturday evening. I assured him that I was already engaging in this issue.

The noble Lord rightly raises the importance of human rights, which he knows I prioritise in all my engagements. Human rights should be central to our diplomacy and our foreign policy, and in this regard I am sure I speak for my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary, whom I have known over a number of years. When he was Minister for Middle East and North Africa, he consistently raised human rights issues directly with various authorities in the region, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although I am the primary Minister engaging in this issue, in various recent exchanges with the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia he has not only discussed a broad range of bilateral issues but has emphasised the importance of human rights as a central plank of our ongoing relationship with the Kingdom.