Human rights VS business interests: Merkel's tricky talks in Saudi Arabia

Human rights VS business interests: Merkel's tricky talks in Saudi Arabia
By Euronews with REUTERS
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves Saudi Arabia after a delicate balancing act of talks on economic relations and human rights.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has travelled on to the United Arab Emirates after a one-day trip to Saudi Arabia, where she shunned the head scarf women in the kingdom are required to wear.

During talks with royalty and business leaders, she sought to strike a balance between maintaining economic relations and broaching sensitive issues such as the human rights situation in the desert country.

“Many people wish to be politically active and Germany must continue to insist on the importance of human rights, particularly concerning the death penalty,” she said.

Riyadh has been involved in the war in Yemen for the past two years, working with President Hadi and his allies against the Houthi rebels.

Merkel touched on the conflict, saying the German government did not “believe there could be a military solution” to the situation.

Meanwhile, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein announced his office continued to receive signs that that the Saudi coalition may attack Yemen’s Hodeidah Port. Zeid expressed concern about the potential humanitarian repercussions and loss of life.

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