After Saudi stop, Germany' Merkel heads to neighboring UAE

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a reception ceremony in Jeddah Saudi Arabia

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on April 30, 2017, shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chatting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (R) during a welcome ceremony in Riyadh. The King and the Chancellor also witnessed the signing of six major economic agreements.

Merkel was also expected to discuss with the Saudis the agenda for the G20 meeting in July, including the Paris climate accord and G20 decisions on energy, according to a German official.

German weapons deals with Saudi Arabia have been controversial for many years, with the kingdom frequently the target of criticism for its poor human rights record.

"We believe in the UN-led process of diplomatic resolution", she said.

"We accept the German reticence with regard to exports to Saudi Arabia; we know the political background", Saudi Deputy Economy Minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told the magazine.

The King shook hands with members of the official delegation accompanying the German Chancellor. May had said that she hoped to be an inspiration to oppressed women in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi law generally requires women to wear a full-length robe and cover for their hair in public places, but Ms Merkel became the latest in a succession of female Western politicians to leave her hair uncovered on her visit to the Western city, Jeddah.

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Merkel instead of discussing about women's rights, talked about business and humanitarian relief for refugees with the king.

She noted, however, that women in Saudi Arabia still face many restrictions.

Merkel recently backed a law banning the wearing of full-face Islamic veils in government jobs in Germany. The kingdom is trying to attract greater foreign investment as it diversifies its economy away from oil, the backbone of its economy.

"Nobody's going to mess with Saudi Arabia because we're watching them", Trump said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin previous year.

Markel said that due to Saudi Arabia's prominent role in the Middle East, Germany will continue to offer training to Saudi police, security forces and border guards.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported the two sides signed a number of memorandums to enhance cooperation in the fields of technology, energy and business.

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