May insists she was ‘robust’ with Saudi Crown Prince accused of ordering murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Corbyn accuses her of only offering ‘warm words’
- Prime Minister met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at G20 summit
- May demanded a ‘full, transparent and credible’ investigation into the murder
- Corbyn accused her in the Commons of offering no more than warm words
Theresa May insisted today she had been ‘robust’ with the Saudi Crown Prince accused of ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi after meeting him at the G20.
Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister had offered no more than ‘warm words’ about the brutal killing and the use of British-made weapons by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
Mrs May defended the Government’s actions in a Commons statement on her visit to the summit in Argentina. She and the Crown Prince sat stony-faced as they met in Buenos Aries on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia has been under acute pressure to come clean on the murder of Mr Khashoggi in its Turkish consulate in October.
Riyadh has also been widely condemned for how it is waging its war in Yemen, despite the initial intervention being endorsed by the UN.
Theresa May (pictured today in the Commons) insisted she had been ‘robust’ with the Saudi Crown Prince accused of ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi after meeting him at the G20
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today in the Commons) said the Prime Minister had offered no more than ‘warm words’ about the brutal killing and the use of British-made weapons by Saudi Arabia in Yemen
Mrs May told MPs: ‘I met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, first to stress the importance of a full, transparent and credible investigation into the terrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and for those responsible to be held to account – a matter which I also discussed with President Erdogan.
‘And second, to urge an end to the conflict in Yemen and relief for those suffering from starvation – and to press for progress at the upcoming talks in Stockholm.
‘Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is important to this country, but that does not prevent us from putting forward robust views on these matters of grave concern.’
The Labour leader said the PM’s intervention had failed to get across the message.
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Mr Corbyn said: ‘The Prime Minister told the media she would ‘sit down and be robust’ with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – the chief architect of the brutal war in Yemen which has killed 56,000 people and brought 14 million to the brink of famine. The Crown Prince is believed to have ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
‘Rather than be robust as promised, we learn that the Prime Minister told the dictator ‘please don’t use the weapons we are selling you in the war you’re waging’ and asked him nicely to investigate the murder he allegedly ordered.
‘Leaders should not just offer warm words against human rights atrocities, but back their words up with action.
‘Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and others have stopped arms sales to Saudi Arabia. When will the UK?’
Mrs May defended the Government’s actions in a Commons statement on her visit to the summit in Argentina. She and the Crown Prince sat stony-faced as they met in Buenos Aries on Saturday (pictured)
In response, Mrs May told him: ‘Both I with the Crown Prince MBS and the Foreign Secretary with King Salman we have been absolutely robust in our response to the terrible killing of Jamal Khashoggi and we have been clear about the need for those responsible to be held to account.’
The killing of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has strained Saudi Arabia’s ties with the West and battered Prince Mohammed’s image abroad.
Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the killing.
Western leaders are also concerned about the worsening situation in Yemen, where a Saudi-led war has put millions on the brink of starvation.
There has been widespread condemnation and public outrage over attacks on sites such as school bus and hospitals, where Yemeni civilians, including children, have died.
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