Maya Foa

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‘The prime minister’s trip to Riyadh, so soon after a mass execution, shames him personally and shames Britain.’ Boris Johnson arrives at Riyadh airport on Wednesday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty Images

Did Boris Johnson feel a flicker of alarm when the news broke that Saudi Arabia had executed 81 men just days before his in trip to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? The prime minister is not famed for being a man of conscience, but he has a solid grasp of optics. He surely knows that shaking hands with an autocrat who has just overseen a mass killing will harm Britain’s moral standing on the global stage, at a time when this could not be more important.

Since Jamal Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 and murdered, western leaders have mostly stayed away from the kingdom and avoided photo ops with the crown prince.…  Seguir leyendo »