18 thoughts on “British Prime Minister opposes Foreign Secretary telling truth on Saudi Arabia

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  3. Saturday 10th
    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    Proxy wars accusation causes diplomatic upset

    BORIS JOHNSON was criticised by his own party yesterday after he accused Saudi Arabia of abusing Islam to further its position in “proxy wars” — shortly before starting a diplomatic tour of the Middle East.

    Mr Johnson’s predecessor Sir Malcolm Rifkind scathingly claimed that the “jury is out” on whether Mr Johnson would remain in his position after coming too close to the truth for comfort.

    He also chastised him for being “completely in conflict” with official foreign policy, and No 10 chimed in to say that Mr Johnson’s statement does not represent the official government stance.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s most prolific buyer of British-made weaponry and war vehicles, according to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

    MPs have long called on the suspension of British arms sales to the oil-rich power, which are being used in its war against poorer neighbouring country Yemen.

    Tory grandee Mr Rifkind added that PM Theresa May’s appointment of Mr Johnson had been a “gamble” and he might be more “comfortable” in another role.

    He said: “As a foreign secretary you can’t be a celebrity.”

    Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “If that is his genuine view, he needs to explain why he ordered his MPs to vote against Labour’s calls in October to suspend support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, until a lasting ceasefire has been brokered and until alleged violations of international humanitarian law have been properly investigated.

    “The government cannot complain about Saudi Arabia’s military actions one minute, then continue selling it the arms to prosecute those actions the next.”

    Some Tory colleagues have leapt to the defence of Mr Johnson, even after his Downing Street drubbing.

    Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: “It’s his job to set out the concerns that we have.”

    Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston tweeted: “Boris was speaking the truth on proxy wars and it’s time for all parties in the region to end the sectarian bloodbath.

    “To proxy wars charge I’d add beheadings, judicial mutilations, torture, violation of women’s human rights through male guardianship, unfair trials, gross restrictions on free speech, rights of assembly and association, bombing civilians in Yemen.”

    Mr Johnson delivered a keynote speech at a major regional conference in Bahrain on Friday and will head to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

    During her own visit to the Persian Gulf this week Ms May assured Saudi King Salman of “her commitment and that of her government to enhancing and strengthening this relationship,” a spokeswoman said.

    https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4374-Sharks-circle-after-Boris-Johnson-Saudi-blather#.WEx4ZH2ff6g

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