In an effort to reduce dependence on Russian energy after invading Ukraine, Boris Johnson has declared Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ‘key international partners’, the news agency reports. PA.
With a controversial visit to the Gulf states tomorrow, the prime minister has argued that strengthening ties with nations is needed to tackle Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
Mr Johnson is due to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh days after the kingdom’s biggest mass execution in modern history.
He also plans to visit UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi beforehand as the two leaders’ human rights records come under scrutiny. , reports the PA news agency.
As the cost of living crisis is compounded by the West’s weaning from Russian oil and gas, the prime minister is seeking to boost Gulf oil production to ease rising prices.
Critics have notably questioned the strengthening of ties with Mohammed bin Salman since the Saudi leader was implicated in the assassination of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, said that “passing from one dictator to another is not an energy strategy”.
Before embarking on Tuesday evening, in a statement, Boris Johnson said: “The brutal and unprovoked assault that President Putin has launched against Ukraine will have profound consequences for the world, far beyond the borders of Europe. ‘Europe.
“The UK is building an international coalition to deal with the new reality we face. The world must wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons and starve Putin’s addiction to oil and gas.
“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are key international partners in this effort. We will work with them to ensure regional security, support the humanitarian relief effort and stabilize global energy markets over the longer term.
Tory MPs and human rights campaigners are among those who want the PM to ask nations about their track record since Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 81 people convicted of crimes ranging from murder to membership to militant groups, reports the PA news agency.
The West shunned Prince Mohammed bin Salman after US intelligence alleged he ordered the killing of Mr Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, although the Saudi leader denied it.
That said, the prince and Mr Putin were seen in a high five and laughed together at a G20 summit in the month since the October 2018 murder.
Labour’s shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said: “It is a sign of our vulnerability and energy insecurity as a country that the Prime Minister is going to Saudi Arabia to ask for an increase in the production of oil, despite the regime’s appalling human rights record.
“Once again, this demonstrates that the best solution to the energy crisis we face is a green energy sprint at home so that we end our dependence on fossil fuels once and for all.”
Boris Johnson, who will be replaced by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, argued he must “build the broadest possible coalition” to deal with Mr Putin’s invasion.
The prime minister is expected to discuss the importance for the allies of increasing diplomatic and economic pressure on the Kremlin while mitigating the global fallout from the war, the PA news agency reports.
Downing Street expects Saudi Alfanar Group to confirm a £1billion investment in the Lighthouse Green Fuels project in Teesside during the trip, trying to produce sustainable aviation fuel from waste.
It is hoped that over 700 jobs will be created by the project during construction and around 240 full-time jobs when fully operational.
Conservative MP Julian Lewis, who chairs the House Intelligence and Security Committee, called on the government to ensure that “in seeking to reduce our dependence on a source of oil and gas, we did not end up creating a dependency on another unreliable and sometimes hostile source”. diet”.
Investment Minister Lord Grimstone will join Boris Johnson.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-15 22:30:00