Saudi crown prince greeted in Britain with pomp, protests

Welby raises human-rights concerns during private meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Washington and other USA cities in search of investors in Vision 2020, his economic transformation plan for the kingdom, and a nuclear deal.

Hundreds of protesters that rallied Wednesday to oppose the United Kingdom visit of the Saudi Crown Prince are prepared for a "long struggle" against United Kingdom involvement in the Yemen war, Stephen Bell, organizer and spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition (STWC), told Sputnik. During his three-day visit, the heir to the Saudi throne will meet other senior royals and dine with the Queen's son and grandson, Prince Charles and Prince William.

However, his arrival drew protests on the streets of London over the brutal Yemen conflict.

The pictures of the crown prince on the steps of Downing Street will be projected around the world, and will be used by the regime to legitimise it on the world stage.

But as Britain rolled out the red carpet for his visit, many people were furious about the visit considering Saudia Arabia's role in the war in Yemen and the country's human rights record.

Saudi women have had a momentous year as the young, reform-minded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a number of key restrictions on their rights.

But Prince Salman's three-day visit is expected to be overshadowed by protests throughout.

However, it is a dialogue complicated by the facts that MbS is personally behind the Saudi war effort and Britain has supplied much of the arms. "We think these actions, particularly the action against Yemen, are a disgrace, and the fact that the British government is directly involved is the reason we are here today".

They also have a long-standing trade relationship - not just of arms, the most well-known United Kingdom export to Saudi - but also of transport-related equipment, medicinal products, foodstuffs and power-generating equipment, according to the Saudi British Joint Business Council.

For those who have criticized Saudi Arabia as a country that moves at a snail's pace, the pace of change has literally taken everyone by surprise and make the same people now say slow down.

Photos of the Queen and Crown Prince's private audience were also posted online.

"I have no doubt that it's a very deep relationship", he added. The blockade against Qatar and political repression in Kingdom are also a cause for concern.

"The archbishop voiced his distress at the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and asked that all that is possible be done to alleviate the suffering of civilian populations and to seek an end to the conflict", the statement said.

The spokeswoman said the summit yielded "a landmark ambition" for around £65 billion (73 billion euros, $90 billion) of mutual trade and investment opportunities in coming years in areas ranging from education to defence.

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