Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng received free hospitality from Saudi Aramco in January.
Kwarteng was flown around Saudi Arabia, courtesy of the majority state-owned energy firm.
Kwarteng lunched with Aramco executives, stayed at a company residence, and visited an oil field.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng accepted flights and hospitality from Saudi Aramco, the majority state-owned energy firm, while on a trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this year.
Kwarteng visited Saudi Arabia in late January, flying to the country on a UK government-paid commercial flight on January 29.
But Kwarteng was flown within the kingdom by Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer in the world.
UK government transparency registers say Kwarteng was flown to Dammam and stayed at an Aramco guesthouse there on January 30, before having lunch with the firm on January 31, flying to Jubail, and then to the capital, Riyadh. Kwarteng flew back to the UK on a commercial flight on February 1.
Saudi press reports say Kwarteng also visited Aramco’s Shaybah oil field with the Saudi energy minister, although this is not logged in BEIS transparency records. The Shaybah oil field is more than 750km from Dammam. However, it does have its own airport, built and operated by Aramco.
Photographs show Kwarteng at Shaybah posing with the Saudi energy minister, joining hands to hold the sun over the desert sands. They are also seen at a tent believed to be overlooking Aramco’s complex at Shaybah.
—Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) February 1, 2022
UK government transparency releases do not explain how Kwarteng could have crossed Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter desert to make it to Shaybah – and then back to Jubail – without support from Aramco.
—عبدالعزيز المقبل (@AzizSapphire) January 31, 2022
Kwarteng’s acceptance of Aramco’s hospitality has led to criticism from opposition MPs.
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, told Insider: “Kwasi Kwarteng has huge questions to answer. Who co-ordinated this trip? How much did it cost? What was discussed over ‘lunch’? What were the Saudis’ demands?
“We can’t have a government minister in charge of climate policy who’s glad-handing and jet-setting with Saudi Arabian oil giants.
“We’re in a climate emergency – the extreme heat we’re experiencing this week couldn’t make that any more clear. And we know that we can’t keep temperatures in check by greenlighting new climate-wrecking oil & gas fields.
“Government ministers and any prospective Tory leaders need to get their heads …read more
Source:: Business Insider