Selling Weapons to the Saudis

1. Source: The Guardian, September 15

All sales of UK weapons to Saudi Arabia should be suspended until an independent inquiry into alleged breaches of international law in Yemen has been completed, two select committees have agreed in a joint report. The committees accuse the Saudi government of obstructing efforts to investigate the alleged violations, which human rights organizations say are the result of its campaign of airstrikes in the country.

The UK government has failed to undertake its own credible investigations, and some ministers had told parliament of checks that had not in fact taken place, the committees said. They feared British support, principally through arms sales, was “having the effect of conferring legitimacy” on Saudi Arabia’s actions, the report said.

However, plans to have their recommendation to suspend arms sales endorsed by the joint committee on arms controls exports (CAEC) have been blocked by opposition led by Crispin Blunt, the Conservative chairman of the foreign affairs select committee.

In a highly unusual move, the foreign affairs committee simultaneously produced its own report suggesting the legitimacy of UK arms sales should be left for a court to decide….

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2. Source: The Globe and Mail, August 26

The [Canadian] government’s argument for selling the combat vehicles to a country with an abysmal human-rights record boiled down to, “it creates jobs,” and “if we don’t, someone else will.” Those are lousy arguments for a country aiming to be a leader in global freedom and progress.

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One response to “Selling Weapons to the Saudis

  1. If Canadians are worried about human rights in Saudi Arabia they could lobby to stop buying Saudi oil. Instead, one assumes that many of the same people down on arms sales are also against the pipeline that would displace Saudi oil with Canadian oil.