British defence chief in Saudi Arabia

British Defence Secretary John Reid has arrived in Riyadh on an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia, the official SPA news agency has reported.

    Reid's Saudi visit comes three weeks after Blair's

    It said Reid and his delegation flew into Riyadh air base on Saturday, but did not give more details.
    A British Embassy spokesman said Reid was expected to meet Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.
    Saudi Arabia is a major client of Britain's arms industry and is linked to London by the multibillion-dollar Al-Yamamah contract signed in 1985, the biggest arms sale in British history.
    Reid's trip comes exactly three weeks after British Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a flying visit to Saudi Arabia.
    It also follows visits by the Portuguese and Spanish defence ministers to the oil-rich kingdom earlier this month.



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