Campaigners warns of “toxic” UK arms deals with Saudi Arabia

“Brutal” Saudi regime benefiting from Tory weapons support 

WARNINGS THAT SAUDI fuelled extremism is endangering the Middle East and Britain’s security interests can be confronted by cutting off weapons support, according to anti-arms sales campaigns. 

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has reignited concerns that funding of extremism is linked to the Gulf Kingdom. 

Last week it was revealed that the Home Office is withholding a report on the funding of terrorism in the UK, despite expectations that the report will be particularly critical of Saudi Arabia.

Read more - Ben Wray: The only 'embarrassing' chat needed is about your support for Saudi Arabia, Theresa May

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “Only two months ago the Prime Minster was in Riyadh trying to sell weapons to the Saudi regime, which has some of the most abusive laws in the world. This toxic relationship is not making anyone safer, whether in the UK or in Yemen, where UK arms are being used with devastating results.”

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the UK Government to change it’s relationship with the Saudis and end arms sales on security and humanitarian grounds. 

The war in Yemen, which has seen numerous war crimes reports against Saudi forces, continues with the support of British military exports. 

Read more - Saudi Arabia top location for UK weapons as global sales increase

Smith added: “The last twenty years of UK foreign policy in the Middle East have been characterised by interventionism and arms sales, and little in the way of state building or the promotion of human rights. These wars have not made us more secure, nor has cozying up to brutal dictatorships like Saudi Arabia that have been linked to the spread of terrorism and violence.”

The Saudi regime has an appalling human rights records, yet is the top recipient of UK weapons sales - totalling £3.3bn of licensed sales since March 2015.

Picture courtesy of Oxfam International

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