Saudi king ends controversial British visit

By
November 1, 2007 20:26




Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah left Britain Thursday, ending a state visit that drew protests over his oil kingdom's human rights record and sparked a debate over its relationship with Islamic radicals. Abdullah, 83, left London for Switzerland for a private visit before continuing his European tour in Italy, Germany and Turkey, a Saudi official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. He gave no further details. Abdullah's trip to London was the first state visit by a Saudi monarch in 20 years. While in London, the king met with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with whom he discussed terrorism and the Middle East peace process. The visit got off to a shaky start after Abdullah said Britain had failed to act on intelligence that might have prevented the 2005 London transit bombings.


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