Middle East

Saudi crown prince to face protests on 7 March visit to Britain

Mohammed bin Salman visit will mark 'new era in bilateral relations', according to Theresa May's spokesman (AFP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit Britain on 7 March for talks with Theresa May that will include topics such as extremism and societal reform, the British prime minister's spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The visit will usher in a new era in bilateral relations focused on a partnership that delivers wide-ranging benefits for both the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the spokesman said.

"The visit will also provide an opportunity to enhance our co-operation in tackling international challenges such as terrorism, extremism, the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen and other regional issues such as Iraq and Syria."

The announcement was followed almost immediately by plans for protests against his presence. The Stop the War coalition announced it would picket the talks, and appealed to supporters to make clear the "chief architect of Saudi Arabia's brutal war in Yemen" was not welcome in London.

In just over a week Mohammad bin Salman, chief architect of Saudi Arabia's brutal war on #Yemen will be vising #TheresaMay in @10DowningStreet. Join us to make clear that he's not welcome in #Londonhttps://t.co/8aR66my7iupic.twitter.com/SZFInDok1h

— Stop the War (@STWuk) February 27, 2018

In a separate statement issued after the meeting with her cabinet, May said the crown prince's visit – his first since his appointment in June 2017 – would allow Britain to talk "frankly and constructively" about areas of concern, including Yemen and security in the Middle East.

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