Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have hit an all-time low, with Saudi officials saying they are “insulted” by a new British parliamentary inquiry that will review the UK’s dealings with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
In an interview aired by the UK’s BBC last night, the Saudi ambassador in London, Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Al-Saud, said the country would review its dealings with the UK in light of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) inquiry, which comes after the publication of an FAC report that touches on Saudi Arabia’s close relationship with Bahrain.
Britain has criticised Bahrain’s response to putting down opposition unrest in the country in the wake of the Arab uprisings. Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain in 2011, amid claims Iran was supporting Shia opposition forces in the kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia’s relations with the GCC are an internal matter among the six countries and we will not tolerate or accept any foreign interference in the workings of the GCC,” Al-Saud said.
Al-Saud denied Saudi troops played any role in putting down unrest in Bahrain at the height of the protests last year.
“As a GCC member, [Saudi Arabia] sent a brigade of specialised units to secure and protect critical Bahraini installations and infrastructure,” he said. “Saudi forces have not engaged in any security operations against Bahraini citizens.”
The FAC inquiry will investigate the UK’s dealings with both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and how the UK balances its human rights position with trade, defence and security relationships.