This content was published on Jun 07, 2021 – Jul 19:49,
DUBAI (Reuters) – Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Monday and they discussed the situation on Iran as well as bilateral relations and climate change, Britain’s Foreign Office said.
Raab’s visit comes at a time when major countries are working to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which Saudi Arabia opposed for not addressing Tehran’s missile program and its support for regional proxies, including in Yemen.
“The UK reaffirms our commitment to addressing our common security challenges, including the Iranian threats and the ongoing conflict in Yemen,” a Foreign Office statement quoted Raab as saying. He added that Riyadh is a close friend and long-standing partner of Britain.
Saudi Arabia is urging the major powers to conclude a stronger and longer-term agreement during talks in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States and Iran back into full compliance with the agreement.
Washington withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, which led Tehran to gradually violate some restrictions of the agreement.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that Prince Mohammed and the British minister discussed efforts to enhance regional security and stability, as well as joint cooperation in various fields.
The British Foreign Office said Raab, who also met his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, discussed trade and climate change issues and raised human rights concerns “particularly with regard to justice reform and media freedom of expression”.
Saudi Arabia’s human rights record came under scrutiny after Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018, as well as Riyadh’s detention of women human rights activists.
(Press coverage by Naira Abdullah from Cairo – prepared by Ahmed Sobhi and Ali Khafaji for the Arab Bulletin – edited by Ahmed Sobhi)