Israel fires missile into Syria

The Israeli military has said it has fired into Syria in response to violence again spilling into Israeli-held Golan. Despite warnings, another errant mortar shell from Syria landed in the Golan Heights today.

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Cameron meets students hoping to be first female Saudi lawyers

David Cameron has met female students hoping to be among the first allowed to practise criminal law in Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister chatted with the young women at Dar Al-Hekma private college in Jeddah after talks with King Abdullah as part of a trade and diplomacy push in the Middle East.

Prime Minister David Cameron meets female students at Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

But while the Prime Minister welcomed the steps such as the recent move by the king to remove a ban on female lawyers in the courts, Mr Cameron questioned what more needed to be done to secure better work opportunities.

"What are the opportunities? How are things changing? And what more needs to happen before you see really proper opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia?," Mr Cameron asked.

Cameron rules out arming Syrian rebels

David Cameron has ruled out the UK arming Syrian rebels despite saying that President Assad could be allowed a safe passage out of the country.

I am very frustrated that we can't do more. This is an appalling slaughter that is taking place in our world today - 40,000 lives lost already and you can see, on your television screens, night after night, helicopters, aeroplanes belonging to the Assad regime pounding his own country and murdering his own people.

We must ask ourselves what more can we do: how can we help the opposition? How can we put the pressure on Assad? How can we work with partners in the region to turn this around?

– David Cameron

Asked about arming rebels, the Prime Minister said:

We are not currently planning to do that. We are a government under international law and we obey the law.

My fear is, firstly, that the slaughter will continue, that the loss of life will continue. That should be our number one concern.

But there is another fear, which is that the longer this goes on, the more that it can promote and drive extremism and we'll see instability in the region as well.


Cameron: 'Assad could be given safe passage out of Syria'

David Cameron has said that Syrian president Bashar Assad should be allowed a safe passage out of the country if that would end the bloodshed.

The Prime Minister said it "could be arranged" for him to flee and potentially escape international justice over the bloody repression.

But he made clear that Britain would not offer any such haven.

President Assad in August Credit: Reuters

Asked what he would say if President Assad said he wanted a safe exit, Mr Cameron told Al Arabiya television:

"Done. Anything, anything to get that man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria.

"Of course, I would favour him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he's done.

"I am certainly not offering him an exit plan to Britain but if wants to leave, he could leave, that could be arranged."

David Cameron meets UAE President

David Cameron at the Al Rawda Palace in Abu Dhabi with the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron has met the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan of the Unites Arab Emirates in his final meeting in the country, later he will travel to Saudi Arabia.

PM hoping to attract Gulf cash for windfarms

A windfarm near Peebles in Scotland. Credit: PA

David Cameron will push for massive new Middle Eastern investment in Britain's energy production today - including cash for windfarms - as he continues a trade and diplomacy mission in the Gulf states.

The Prime Minister will meet the heads of three of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the United Arab Emirates as he bids to persuade them to make further major investment in renewables, nuclear and North Sea oil.

It is the premier's latest attempt to secure a share of some of the £440 billion-plus cash surplus held by the oil-rich state to boost Britain's ailing economy after yesterday pushing sales of military fighter jets and meeting business leaders engaged in joint working with the UAE.


UK has 'some of the toughest rules' on defence exports

The Prime Minister's official spokesman has said that Britain has "some of the toughest rules around" on defence exports:

We do have a large and important defence industry in this country. The Prime Minister is keen to see that industry prosper. That is an important thing for jobs in this country.

We have very strict rules, which are regularly reviewed, on the export of defence equipment.

On the subject of human rights and human rights abuses, these are issues that we consistently raise with other countries where we think there is a need to do so.

– Prime Minister's official spokesman

Amnesty International concerned by arms sales to Gulf countries

The human rights charity Amnesty International has raised concerns about the sale of British weapons to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia:

Selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE should only be considered if there are absolutely watertight guarantees over them not being used to commit human rights violations.

Saudi Arabia has been the recipient of record-breaking arms deals involving the UK, yet these have been highly secretive and there’s been little or no follow-up over how the weaponry was used ...

In the past a large Saudi chequebook has apparently meant it could purchase weapons as well as silence over its own dreadful human rights record.

It’s time for David Cameron to end this deeply disturbing trade-off.

– Allan Hogarth, Head of Policy and Government Affairs, Amnesty International UK
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