Manama: Strategic relations with Saudi Arabia have helped keep the United Kingdom safe, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.
The relations have also contributed to making progress on top issues and to discuss issues of concern openly, he said.
“Our strategic partnership w/Saudi Arabia helps us to keep the UK safe, to make progress on diplomatic priorities like Yemen, and to discuss frankly issues of concern,” Hunt posted on his Twitter account.
The British official was in the Saudi capital where he held talks with Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Assaf and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir.
“Excellent first meeting with FM Ibrahim al Assaf & @AdelAljubeir today in Riyadh,” Hunt remarked in his tweet to his 151,489 followers.
The British minister said he had an “important discussion with Al Jubeir about human rights reforms and current issues including Khashoggi, women activists and guardianship law.”
Saudi-British discussions also covered the situation in Yemen where an agreement reached between the government and Houthi rebels in the Swedish capital in December has not been implemented.
The government charged that the Houthis have not kept to the Hodeidah ceasefire agreement by refusing to hand over control of the city and its ports to the UN.
“Both @AdelAljubeir and I agreed progress on Stockholm overdue and it is vital for Hodeidah to be cleared of militia urgently to allow humanitarian corridor,” Hunt tweeted.
The British official said that he discussed the delay in the implementation of the Stockholm agreement with Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
“Progress fragile but within sight for UN-backed peace talks on Yemen, as I discussed with Yemeni President Hadi in Riyadh today. There is a lack of trust and it is taking too long to implement Stockholm but no one has a better plan so we need to get going and end the crisis...,” he tweeted.
On Thursday, Hunt said he met Mohammad Abdul Salem, a spokesman for the Houthis, and stressed the need to pull out Houthi troops from the city without further delays.
“Just met Houthi spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salem in Oman. I welcome progress in Hodeidah port discussions but withdrawal of Houthi troops needs to happen SOON to maintain confidence in Stockholm and allow opening of vital humanitarian channels,” Hunt posted.