MP Jonathan Edwards has accused the Prime Minister of double standards and abject indifference to the recent execution of forty seven prisoners, including several anti-government protestors, by Saudi Arabia, calling on the UK government to urgently change course in its foreign policy in the region.
Mr Edwards said the UK government’s reluctance to resolutely condemn the actions of Saudi Arabia was very disturbing and said a consistent approach to human rights in the region was key if the ideological battle against Islamic terrorism was to be won.
Jonathan Edwards MP said,
"UK foreign policy in the region is riddled with double standards and contradictions. Unless there is a consistent approach, in particular when it comes to human rights, there is no hope of defeating Daesh and other Islamic terrorist groups.
In light of recent events, the UK government must urgently consider the implications of its continued close relationship with Saudi Arabia and challenge its ally on their policy to silence freedom of expression and curb basic civil and political rights, with many of the executions clearly religiously motivated against the Shia minority.
The UK Government’s unwillingness to publically and strongly decry the latest mass executions as well as their refusal to tackle the Saudi promotion of extreme Sunni religious ideology which fuels Daesh is incoherent with its aim of tackling Islamic terrorism.
Permanent military action in the region coupled with an inconsistent foreign policy is a recipe for prolonged anti Western grievance in the region which of course is the key ingredient in fuelling the rise of terror groups such as Daesh.
Considering the actions of the Saudi regime not only in its own country but also directly in neighbouring countries like Bahrain and Yemen, the Department for Business should urgently review its arms licenses to Saudi Arabia and explore all the diplomatic and economic tools available to the international community. In the very least the UK government should revoke it's support for the Saudi Chairmanship of the United Nations Human Rights Panel."