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An influential Conservative think tank has urged Boris Johnson not to shy away from tackling human rights concerns following the foreign secretary’s visit to Saudi Arabia, days after he had criticised Riyadh for stoking “proxy wars” across the region.

Both countries played down comments by Johnson that Saudi Arabia was guilty of “twisting” Islam and “puppeteering”.

In a press conference with his Saudi counterpart on Sunday (11 December), Johnson appeared to soften his stance, expressing “deep concern” for the humanitarian situation in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is accused of rights abuses.