British parties demand an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Five British parties criticize the government for being an accomplice of the Saudi “murderous regime” feeding an aggression to Yemen through the sale of arms.

“The UK government must condemn the Saudi government’s reckless and barbaric behaviour, immediately suspend the sale of arms to the regime for use in the war in Yemen,” demanded the letter published Monday by the local newspaper The Independent and handed over to British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the aggression against Yemen.

The letter also demanded that London stop all its military operations in the Arab kingdom until an independent investigation can be carried out into “all alleged war crimes” by the Riyadh-led coalition in Yemen.

The brief was signed by the leaders of the five main British opposition parties; Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, Vince Cable of the British Liberal Democrat Party, Ian Blackford of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) group in the British Parliament, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and Liz Saville Roberts of Plaid Cymru.

“After four years of intolerable suffering and degradation, time is running out. Yemen is on the verge of catastrophe,” warned the letter that blamed the British government for continuing to benefit from Saudi aggression against Yemen by selling arms that are used against the civilian population.

The British parties argued that the United Kingdom is complicit in the crimes of the “murderous regime” of Saudi Arabia “for fuelling this conflict for profit”.

In this sense, the letter criticised London for exporting 4600 million pounds sterling (6200 million dollars) worth of arms to the Arab kingdom, a figure that is “much more shocking”, as it “eclipses” the amount raised to help the people of Yemen.

The letter denounced that it is clear that the government was not willing to accept any correlation between the sale of arms to the Saudi government and “the crimes committed by the regime”.

“It is morally reprehensible that the UK Government is not only not considering changing its policy, but is actively pressuring other foreign governments, as it did Germany, to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” the letter added.

The letter comes after the British Daily Mail revealed a secret British military campaign in Yemen by reporting that at least five British Special Boat Service (SBS) commandos have been injured in recent months in direct combat with fighters from the Yemeni popular movement Ansarullah.

Since the start of the illegal Saudi war against its southern neighbor in March 2015, more than 60,000 Yemenis have died, according to Acled, while London, along with Washington, has seized the opportunity to close multimillion-dollar arms deals with Riyadh.

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