Saudi arms: UK ministers refuse to cease support

The refusal goes in defiance of two parliamentary committees that have called for the UK to stop the selling of arms to the Kingdom. (File Photo: AP)

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and three other British cabinet ministers have refused to cease military support to Saudi Arabia, reported London-based Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday.

The refusal goes in defiance of two parliamentary committees that have called for the UK to stop the selling of arms to the Kingdom.

Johnson, as well as Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, Development Secretary Priti Patel, and Trade Secretary Liam Fox, all pledged to continue the selling of arms to the Gulf country.

The statement the ministers issued explained that they are “confident in its robust case-by-case assessment” and satisfied that arms sales to Saudi Arabia are compliant with the UK’s export licensing rules.

“We continue to assess export license applications for Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application.”

“The key test for our continued arms exports is whether there is a clear risk that those exports might be used in a commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).”

“A license will not be issued for any country, including Saudi Arabia, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the mandatory Criteria, including where we assess there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL,” the statement said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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