‘Arms sales must end’
Calls on the UK to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia are growing louder as US plans to do the same are being blocked
troops backed by the United Arab Emirates in Yemen.
“All of those allegations have to be investigated and the evidence has to come forward,” said Corbyn.
“And arms sales policy has to reflect that we do not believe those countries that commit abuses of human rights or kill civilians with the use of those weapons should continue to receive British arms.”
Last week, rights groups and activists called on the UK to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies, warning that continuing to do so may be a violation of international law.
In the US, President Donald Trump’s plans to sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia could face an uphill battle after the Senate raised questions about the deal.
This week, the Senate foreign relations committee wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying it would not clear any arms sales to the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) until it was confident that the council and Trump’s team were working to engage Qatar, a GCC member and the host of the largest US military base in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5 over its alleged support for terror and ties to Iran.
In the letter he wrote to Tillerson on Monday, Senator Bob Corker said: “I could not have been more pleased with the president’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia. The unity of the Gulf States and their commitment to security cooperation were welcome steps forward.
“Unfortunately, the GCC did not take advantage of the summit and instead chose to devolve into conflict. All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight the Islamic State and counter Iran.”
Corker’s committee and its counterpart in the lower chamber, the House foreign affairs committee, have the ability to review arms deals once the executive branch officially proposes them. Corker’s approval is needed for sales to go forward.
– Al Jazeera and Huffington Post