Thursday 25 February 2016

Greens call for arms embargo against Saudi Arabia

Greens in the European Parliament  today call for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia in the wake of serious allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law by the country in Yemen.

Ahead of the vote in the Parliament today, Greens have put forward a motion condemning the Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes against Yemen; calling for a halt to military confrontation and expressing deep concern that some Member States are still supplying arms to Saudi Arabia in breach of EU arms exports rules. Greens also say that ongoing licensing and direct military training by EU Member States should be considered complicity in war crimes.

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, slated the UK government for initiating a secret deal with Saudi Arabia to ensure both states were elected to the UN human rights council and for being the largest arms supplier to the region since 2010; export licences to the kingdom under the coalition government of 2010-2015 totalled nearly £4bn. She said:

It is barbaric and totally immoral that we supply military equipment to a regime engaged in war crimes. Clearly Cameron sees the vested interests of the UK arms industry as more important than the lives of innocent children in Yemen. As for Saudi Arabia chairing the UN human rights council, this is an outrage that insults the many thousands of women, minorities and dissidents who have had their rights abused at the hands of this oppressive regime.
See also a full response to constituents who have contacted Molly regarding the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

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