- Title: Johnson in Saudi Arabia says candour important, stresses friendship
- Date: 11th December 2016
- Summary: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (DECEMBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER ADEL AL-JUBEIR AND BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY BORIS JOHNSON ENTERING CONFERENCE ROOM AL-JUBEIR AND JOHNSON SEATED CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS BRITISH FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (English) BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, SAYING: "I'm here to emphasise the friendship that exists between the UK and Saudi Arabia, and that is something that is developing and expanding and it's also fair to say that we believe in a candour in our relationship. The now, if you don't mind, is the time for us to talk about the positive things that we are doing together." CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS AL-JUBEIR AND JOHNSON LISTENING TO REPORTER SAUDI FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER, SAYING: "There are no mixed messages that we are getting from Britain. Britain is an ally of Saudi Arabia's. Britain and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed a long, historic, strategic relationship that extends over a hundred years. We don't have any doubt in where Britain stands, and Britain has no doubt in where we stand." CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS AL-JUBEIR AND JOHNSON SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTRY LOGO PEOPLE LEAVING
- Embargoed: 26th December 2016 14:33
- Keywords: Britain Saudi Arabia Boris Johnson Adel al-Jubeir foreign affairs diplomacy
- Location: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- City: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CFVGHZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reiterated Britain's close ties to Saudi Arabia on a visit on Sunday (December 11) and said candour was also important, days after making comments widely seen as critical of the conservative Gulf Arab country.
He said in a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir that he had deep concern for Yemeni suffering but recognised Riyadh faced a grave threat from that country's conflict, in which the kingdom is leading a coalition of Arab forces against an Iranian-allied Yemeni group.
Footage was published in British media on Thursday (December 8) of Johnson accusing Saudi Arabia, an old ally of Britain's, and Iran of stoking proxy wars across the Middle East.
Prime Minister Theresa May's spokeswoman said his remarks did not reflect actual policy.
Asked if Riyadh had been getting mixed messages from Britain, Jubeir replied "Absolutely not".
Jubeir said Johnson's comments had been misconstrued, and Britain and Saudi Arabia had enjoyed a long strategic relationship extending over 100 years.
British military personnel have been involved with advising the Saudi-led coalition as it pursues a campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen's civil war.
The war has killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in the poorest country in the Middle East.
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