Mohammed bin Salman visit: 'Yemen will be discussed more than anything as it's a hot issue'

Mohammed bin Salman visit: 'Yemen will be discussed more than anything as it's a hot issue'

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is meeting with senior UK figures

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Yemen will be discussed more than anything during Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit, according to a researcher.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is currently visiting the UK and his arrival has attracted protests, with many demonstrators concentrating their ire on Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen.

Theresa May has spoken out on the situation, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the country and for a political solution.

Jane Kinninmont, the deputy head and senior research fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior that Yemen will be discussed "more than anything else, because it’s become a really hot issue in the British Parliament and the British press.

"The war is costing Saudi Arabia a lot both literally and in terms of its reputation [and the UK and Saudi Arabia] are going to be trying to work together to think what is actually the way out."

Salman's visit has also sparked protests about gender inequality in Saudi Arabia, but this is slowly changing - with women having recently won the right to drive.

Mike questioned why the Saudi Prince's visit clashes with International Women's Day, but Kinninmont said "I think the scheduling has to do with the diary nightmares of very senior people.

"That said, a lot of the message of this visit is meant to be about the fact that things for women are changing in Saudi Arabia."

She thinks Salman's changes to women's rights "comes from personal convictions that the way the country’s been run for the past three decades haven’t been the right way.

"I think it is much more than PR, but obviously you can’t change a whole culture overnight."

Listen to the full interview above