The Uk government bows before the Saudis

Submitted by TheGnomeAtHome on Thu, 12/08/2016 - 21:57

Downing Street has said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's comments on Saudi Arabia do not represent "the government's position".

Footage has emerged from an event last week at which Mr Johnson said UK ally Saudi Arabia was engaging in "proxy wars" in the Middle East. A spokeswoman for the government has said that the UK government would distance themselves from Boris Johnson on this, as they were not the views of the UK. The UK sells arms to Saudi and does not want nor need a diplomatic incident of any kind.

Crispin Blunt, a former minister seemed to back up Johnson by saying that the government where  "a little too sensitive in responding to his remarks".

Mr Johnson's comments were made at a conference in Rome last week but only emerged after the The Guardian newspaper published footage of the event.

In the paper, the foreign secretary said: "There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives.

"That's one of the biggest political problems in the whole region. And the tragedy for me - and that's why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area - is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves."

'Offending the Saudis'

Mr Johnson told the Med 2 conference: "There are not enough big characters, big people, men or women, who are willing to reach out beyond their Sunni or Shia or whatever group to the other side and bring people together and to develop a national story again.

"That is what's lacking. And that's the tragedy," he said, adding that "visionary leadership" was needed in the region.

He went on: "That's why you've got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars."

With the Saudi government having such an appalling stance on human rights, the UK government is leaving themselves open to some criticism by not backing up Johnson.