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Saudi Arabia is an important partner for the UK in the Middle East and our relationship encompasses vital work on counterterrorism, regional security, including the situation in Yemen, energy security, trade, defence and education.
We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and we have made our views well known, including through the universal periodic review process and in discussions with the Saudi Government. Our embassy regularly raises our concerns, including the death penalty. Our concerns are also set out clearly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights report each year. In 2010 we worked both bilaterally and with the EU in four priority areas: women's rights; the death penalty; rights of foreign workers; and judicial reform. The UK funded a number of projects in 2010 including training to female entrepreneurs.
We are also concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and are deeply concerned at reports of ongoing human rights abuses there.
My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary and the Saudi Foreign Minister met in London on
We will continue to make our concerns known to the Bahraini Government, working closely with international partners. We will keep the situation under constant review.