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British PM in Gulf seeking to boost military ties

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November 5, 2012 02:49 AM EST | AP


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to expand military and trade links despite strained relations over probes into human rights issues.

A main goal of Cameron's trip to the two Gulf states is to push through deals for British Typhoon fighter jets.

But both Gulf countries have complained about British and European Parliament statements on possible rights abuses, including the UAE's crackdowns on an Islamist faction and the Saudi role in aiding Bahrain's fight against an anti-government uprising.

Cameron visited a trade fair in Dubai on Monday before heading for talks in Abu Dhabi. He plans meetings in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

It is Cameron's second visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia as prime minister.