[slamNews – The United Kingdom signed off on arms exports worth nearly 1.4 billion pounds ($1.9bn) to Saudi Arabia between July and September last year following the lifting of a ban on weapons sales to the Gulf country – a move critics slammed as “immoral” amid the continuing war in Yemen.
The publishing of the figures by the UK’s Department for International Trade on Tuesday came days after new United States President Joe Biden said his country was ending all support “for offensive operations” by a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels, including “relevant arms sales”.
The announcement prompted mounting calls for the UK – the US’s main ally – to do the same, but British officials have so far refused to follow suit.
The UK’s previous moratorium on arms sales to Saudi Arabia came into effect in June 2019 after its High Court issued a landmark ruling forcing officials to pause sales amid concern the weapons would be used in violation of international humanitarian law.
Officials announced in July 2020 that the UK would resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia – its biggest weapons buyer – in the wake of the review’s findings.
Source: buziness bytes