Britain and Saudi Arabia target 65 billion pound trade and investment ties

Theresa May and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince are believed to have used talks in Downing Street yesterday to lay plans for a £65 billion trade and investment package.

He is only 32, with no long record of big jobs to test him or to bring him into contact with the West.

Not only is he young, ...

"The relationship we have with Saudi Arabia is historic". Around 200 demonstrators also lined up outside Downing Street, where the crown prince visited May.

"We would like the Aramco share option to be issued in the United Kingdom and we will continue to suggest the City would be the best place for it", junior foreign office minister Alistair Burt told parliament.

Britain is looking for trading partners at a time when it comes out of the European Union and Saudi Arabia has to convince skeptical investors about the success of its internal reforms.

Speakers at the first panel discussion, titled "An Era of Transformation: From Vision to Implementation" included Minister of Energy, Mining and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Kasabi, Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri, UK Special Representative on Saudi Vision 2030 Ken Costa, CEO of Dow Chemical Andrew Liveris and British Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead.

The crown prince has shaken up his deeply conservative country since he became heir apparent to King Salman past year.

The crown prince dined with British Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace before making his way to 10 Downing Street for a bilateral meeting with May.

On Thursday, the crown prince will attend a business conference in London before travelling to the prime minister's country residence, Chequers, in Buckinghamshire outside London, before returning to the capital.

"Human rights watchdog Reprieve said the number of executions has doubled since bin Salman took power and Saudi Arabia "has been one of the world's top five executing countries" for more than a decade".

Rob Williams, chief executive at War Child UK - a charity for children affected by conflict, said: 'Britain is complicit in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen through providing diplomatic support to Saudi Arabia, as well as selling our most high tech and deadly weapons to a coalition that the United Nations has verified as committing grave violations against children'.

The Prime Minister also raised the situation in Yemen with the Saudi royal.

Since the beginning of the Saudi military campaign in Yemen in 2015, Britain has sold at least $6.4 billion worth of weaponry to the Kingdom.

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