Saudi Arabia: Overseas Trade

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to review the trade relationship with Saudi Arabia as a result of the detention of political detainees and female activists in that country.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding bilateral relationship based on a number of pillars including defence; security; trade and investment; shared concerns about regional issues and energy security.

We are concerned by the detention of political detainees in Saudi Arabia. We raise concerns regularly and freely, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, including our Ambassador and Embassy team in Riyadh.

No aspect of our commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia prevents us from speaking frankly and openly about human rights. We will not pursue trade to the exclusion of human rights. They can and should be complementary.

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