Will Boris Johnson’s Saudi comments hurt the UK’s Gulf trade charm offensive?


Originally published by City A.M

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson‘s attack on Saudi Arabia runs the risk of harming UK efforts to build trading relations with Gulf states, experts say.

In remarks reported earlier this week, Johnson accused the Saudi regime of “twisting” Islam for political ends, fighting “proxy wars” in the region with Iran.

Henry Jackson Society founder and executive director Alan Mendoza added: “The speed with which his comments have been slapped down by No. 10 shows that there is widespread concern about the likely reaction from the Gulf.

“This episode shows that Britain will need to find a way to make foreign policy co-exist with trade policy, or else post-Brexit Britain will become a larger trading version of Switzerland rather than a proud, outward looking nation.”

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