Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan meets Queen Elizabeth and David Cameron
The president of the United Arab Emirates met Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday on a visit to Britain where Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to raise allegations that UAE police tortured British citizens.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan's visit poses a delicate diplomatic challenge for Cameron who has already expressed concern about the torture accusations but is keen to boost lucrative trade and strategically important diplomatic relations in the Gulf. The two men are due to meet on Wednesday.
The three Britons, who were jailed in the UAE for four years on Monday for drug offences, said police beat them and threatened them with guns, allegations the police deny. Cameron has called for an inquiry.
Making matters tricky for Cameron is the UAE's status as a key destination for British arms and other exports.
Hanging in the balance is the fate of a British bid to sell BAE Systems-backed Eurofighter Typhoon jets to the UAE, on which a decision is expected soon, and an energy deal expected to be signed on Wednesday with Emirati energy firm Masdar.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the torture issue. The Foreign Office said in a statement: "We remain concerned by the allegations of mistreatment on arrest and continue to raise these with the UAE authorities."
New-York-based Human Rights Watch said economic considerations should not stop Cameron pressing Sheikh Khalifa on the issue.
I'm pretty sure justice was served here! I think the people arrested have also been watching too many news items on the war in Iraq -some of the allegations they've been coming up with !
Does anybody from the general public really care? Three guys came here for a 'party time' and didn't read their 'rule book' properly. They broke the law in a muslim country and they have got their reward.
At least the UAE know how to get to the bottom of things and get it resolved - not like GB whose efforts to expel a certain Mr Abu Qatada are nothing short of a joke!!!!! For christ's sake - take him one night in the dark with hooded men, throw him on a military transport plane and get rid of him. Before he knows it, he will be in Jordan - ah home sweet home for him!
I wish we could also do this to all the 'screaming liberals' who really do not live in this real world!!!!