Britain’s Prime Minster David Cameron has delayed a planned visit to Saudi Arabia, as outrage at the recent mass execution of foreigners, including a top Shia Muslim cleric.
Cameron was scheduled to begin a tour of Persian Gulf states in the coming weeks, but according to The Times, UK’s leading quality newspaper, the visit has been put back to March. What will happen then we must wait and see, tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslim sects are running high following the executions and a diplomatic solution is unlikely.
Should a conflict break out between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two most militarily powerful Islamic theocracies it could cause escalation of the conflict in Syria and Iraq, where Sunni Muslim ISIS rebels are at war with Shia led government forces, it is hard to see how visits by a foreign leader could go ahead.
The Prime Ministers office issued a statement saying that the it cannot confirm whether the change in schedule is related to the executions of 47 people, including prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, adding that the prime minster’s attention is focused on the renegotiation of the UK’s presence in the European Union ahead of an upcoming referendum on the subject.
“We don’t confirm the prime minister’s travel plans in advance. Securing reforms to the UK’s relationship with the EU is a government priority and we would expect the prime minister to continue engaging with European leaders over the coming weeks,” she noted.
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