The president of the United Arab Emirates has arrived for a two-day state visit to Britain where he will face questions regarding the torture of three British men jailed in Dubai.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, head of state of the UAE, arrived at Windsor Castle, where he is being hosted by Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday.
“Our two countries have been close friends since before the foundation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971,” Queen Elizabeth said at a luncheon in the UAE leader’s honour.
Speaking at the luncheon, where he was seated next to the Queen and David Cameron, British prime minister, Sheikh Khalifa said: “we shall strive to develop further the long-established bilateral relations that exist between the UAE and the UK in all fields.”
Cameron’s spokesman said nothing was off-limits for talks between the prime minister and Sheikh Khalifa scheduled for Wednesday, when asked if he would discuss the claims that the three men were beaten and given electric shocks after being arrested.
“Clearly we have a state visit, we have an opportunity to build and strengthen relations between our two countries and as part of that we’ll be talking about a wide range of issues which will include concern about these cases,” he said.
“The prime minister’s clear there’s no no-go areas in this … We’ve asked for a full impartial and independent investigation into the incidents.”
Authorities in the UAE have dismissed the allegations, saying an internal investigation found them to be “baseless”.