Saudi Arabia, UK agree to further strengthen bilateral ties

Crown Prince Mohammed meets the British Secretary of Defense in London

Crown Prince Mohammed meets the British Secretary of Defense in London

But during the three-day visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the British government made clear that its agenda was to promote commerce and good relations, not to criticize the Saudi government.

Sky News Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the deal is expected to be announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and the Crown Prince later this afternoon.

Late past year, however, BAE said it planned to axe 2,000 jobs, and had partky blamed weaker demand for Hawk and Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. Its aerospace division was forced to lay off 1,400 people last autumn due to lack...

BAE Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said it was a positive step toward agreeing a contract with a valued partner.

Prince Mohammed and the British Minister of Defense signed two memorandums and coordinated arrangements to strengthen defense capabilities and deepen cooperation and partnership through the transfer of technology, industrial partnership, training, research and development and technical consultation in accordance with Vision 2030.

Downing Street said a target of £65bn worth of trade and investment had been agreed during the Prince's United Kingdom visit.

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Downing Street said trade deals worth £65 billion had been agreed during the visit, which were "important both for our economy and the economy of Saudi Arabia". It pits Saudi Arabia's Sunni Muslim monarchy against Yemen's Houthi rebel movement, which is backed by Shiite Muslim power Iran.

Prime Minister May defended the two countries' defence ties on Wednesday, saying all arms sales were strictly regulated.

He added: "If agreed, this shameful deal will be celebrated in the palaces of Riyadh and by the arms companies who will profit from it, but it will mean even greater destruction for the people of Yemen".

But she has also raised concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen with Prince Mohammed during his visit to the UK.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced swing-role combat aircraft available and there are nearly 500 in service across Europe.

BAE, Europe's biggest defense contractor, has long awaited a major Saudi order for Typhoons, and slowed production in 2016 to ensure it would remain competitive.

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