The influx of Saudi and other Gulf aid has played a central role in supporting the Egyptian economy, preventing the country's collapse and avoiding an even greater human tragedy than that currently unfolding. Saudi's financial support to Egypt is an example of where Saudi's interest - a stable Egypt - coincided with the wider international community's interest.
It's been over a year since the start of the recent conflict in Yemen, and life for children and their families is increasingly unbearable. In March last year, the Saudi-led Coalition launched a military operation in support of the Government of Yemen against Houthi opposition forces who had overthrown President Hadi. Since then, the humanitarian situation has rapidly deteriorated with over 80% of the country now in need of assistance and millions without access to vital healthcare, food, water and fuel.
The world faces a level of instability not seen since the Cold War. To avoid further escalation of conflict and insecurity, and to ensure our country does not lose its standing in the world, we need to put human rights and the observance of international law centre stage again. The Liberal Democrats intend being one of the main actors in this revival.
With the government's expressed aim of reducing unemployment from its current level of 12% down to 7%, the number of women leaving the home to take up work looks set to continue its surge. Just as women entering the workforce in the West served as a prelude to their social advancement one can only hope that the same process will be replicated in the conservative kingdom and replace its current ignominious stance towards women.
A few months before, at a gathering in May 2015 convened by the French government ahead of the Paris climate talks, Saudi Arabia's oil minister was asked about his country's strategy after the end of the oil era. His answer: We will keep exporting energy, except it will be solar power which we will sell to the world.
Here comes one last opportunity: don't squander it. Our own civil rights leaders are in prison. If President Obama mentions no one else, let him raise the case of Zainab Al-Khawaja, or the Saudi youth Ali Al-Nimr who faces crucifixion, and hold them up as high as Rosa Parks. Ordinary acts face extraordinary repression in the Gulf, but there remains a chance to change that.
World attention on the conflict in the Middle East is primarily focused on Syria and Iraq, and much less so on the catastrophe in Yemen, which has cost the lives of thousands of people and forced millions to flee their homes. The Saudi monarchy, with Britain's open support, has been waging war on Yemen for a year, and yet few Britons know anything about it.
Maybe we shouldn't fret. As with the old reggae producers (King Tubby et al), we've apparently got our top people in the control room when it comes to the Saudi-Yemen onslaught (Philip Hammond, you might say, is "at the controls"). No, let's stop worrying and learn to love the bombing campaign in Yemen. Now repeat after me, "We have some of the most stringent export controls ...".
Countries like Saudi Arabia aren't just buying UK arms, they are also buying political support and very often silence about the human rights abuses they preside over. Changing this will take more than the cancellation of a few licences. It will need a complete overhaul of government foreign policy and an end to the hypocrisy at the heart of it.
Fundamental questions need to be asked about the UK Government's relationship with Saudi Arabia and calling the execution of 47 prisoners, some who were political prisoners only 'disappointing' is an embarrassing stance from the Government, a Government that is far too close to a regime with serious human rights abuses.
As UK citizens it's important we stand in solidarity with CAAT's legal action, lending our signatures to their online petition, and lobbying our MPs to take a stand in the commons. It is clear, now more than ever, that the UK has to review this destructive trade relationship. It's time for the UK to #StopArmingSaudi.