May talks Yemen, oil and Iran with Saudi leader

Iran news
Iran news

Theresa May has discussed the Iran nuclear deal, the war in Yemen and the oil market with Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman, Downing Street said.

Number 10 said the Prime Minister and Crown Prince had “looked forward to continuing close cooperation between the two Kingdoms” in a telephone call on Saturday.

But there was no mention of their discussion including Saudi Arabia’s recent clampdown on women’s rights activists.

On Sunday morning 17 people were arrested by Saudi authorities, accused of trying to undermine security and stability, Associated Press reported.

That followed the arrest last month of 10 people in what rights groups said was a campaign against activists ahead of a relaxing of the country’s ban on women driving in a few weeks’ time.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said the two leaders’ discussion had reflected on the “success” of the Crown Prince’s visit to the UK earlier this year.

She added: “The Prime Minister and the Crown Prince agreed that ultimately the dire situation in Yemen could only be resolved with a political solution, and welcomed the efforts being made by the UN’s Special Envoy Martin Griffiths on the matter.

“They discussed the humanitarian situation in the country and agreed the importance of doing everything they could to ease the suffering of Yemenis.

“The Prime Minister emphasised the UK’s commitment to the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), as the best means of preventing Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. But they agreed on the need to tackle Iranian destabilising activity in the region.

“As part of this the Prime Minister noted the importance of cooperation between their two countries to protect Saudi Arabia from ballistic missile attacks.

“Both Prime Minister May and the Crown Prince noted the importance of stability in the oil markets, which they said was in the interests of both consumers and producers.”

The Crown Prince made a three-day visit to Britain in March that included talks with Mrs May and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as an audience with the Queen.

It also saw agreement on an estimated £65 billion worth of additional trade in the coming years as part of the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030 economic plan.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of intent to finalise discussions on a multibillion-pound contract for BAE Systems to supply 48 Typhoon fighter jets.