Britain is to step up its security cooperation with Gulf countries with a focus on the movement of funds to terrorist groups, the prime minister said as she prepared to visit troops stationed in the region on her two-day visit to Bahrain, the Guardian reported.
On the way to the summit, Theresa May said she recognised a long-running responsibility for the UK to raise human rights concerns with Gulf countries including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, particularly over their role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
Human rights campaigners in Bahrain argue that although the UK has been assisting Bahrain with judicial and police reform since 2012, current levels of UK engagement on rights issues have not prevented crackdowns on journalists and pro-democracy activists.
“I think the UK has always had the position, and we continue to have the position, that where there are issues raised about human rights, where there are concerns, we will rightly raise those,” the prime minister said.
“I already have done in some of the meetings I’ve already had in my time as prime minister, and we will continue to do that. But I think what’s important is that because we have the overall engagement, we are able to raise those issues around human rights.”