Alwaght-Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has arrived in London amid unprecedented protests against his visit by Britons outraged by war crimes committed by his regime in neighboring Yemen.
Bin Salman will wish that his three-day state visit ends soon due to the embarrassment caused by protestors who have been urging Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel the visit in vain.
The Saudi regime has had a dismal human rights record coupled with is aggression on impoverished Yemen since March 2015. The regime in Riyadh has been able to sustain its brutal war on Yemen partly due to UK government’s arms sales to the country.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed Britain is “directing the war” being waged by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, as he clashed with Theresa May before her controversial meeting with the country’s crown prince.
The Prime Minister was accused of “colluding in what the United Nations say is evidence of war crimes”, in fierce clashes over Britain’s close links with the oil-rich kingdom.
The Labour leader urged her to use the meeting – the start of a three-day state visit in all but name – to “halt the arms supplies and demand an immediate ceasefire in Yemen”.
“A humanitarian disaster is now taking place in Yemen. Millions face starvation, 600,00 children have cholera because of the Saudi led bombing campaign and the blockade,” he said.
“Germany has suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but British arms sales have sharply increased and British military advisers are directing the war.”
Corbyn added: "It cannot be right that her government is colluding in what the United Nations says is evidence of war crimes.”
The Stop the War coalition and Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) are calling for pickets outside Downing Street during all three days of Bin Salman’s visit, which are expected to attract large numbers of protesters.
“The UK has armed and supported the terrible war since day one, and there is no doubt that arms sales will be top of the agenda next week,” a statement from CAAT’s Andrew Smith said.
“Theresa May is putting the interests of arms dealers above the rights of Yemeni people.”