Britain to boost arms sales to Saudis
Prime Minister David Cameron has made his first visit to Saudi Arabia
as the UK premier to win lucrative weapons deals in the Middle East's
most autocratic regime.
Cameron's visit to the
Saudi monarchy comes amid warnings from human rights groups and MPs
over the sale of arms, as well as a "shocking disrespect for basic human
rights" in the Kingdom.
International's UK campaigns director Tim Hancock, said any future arms
sales to the regime should take account of Saudi Arabia's behavior.
“In recent years we've documented the indiscriminate bombing of Yemeni villages by Saudi Arabian jets," Hancock said.
if Mr. Cameron is discussing arms deals on this trip he must ensure
that they will be subject to rigorous controls and that no equipment is
shipped to the country if there is the slightest risk of it being used
to commit human rights abuses", added the Amnesty's director.
trip comes at a time when the Foreign Office has posted a warning on
its website calling on all Britons travelling to Saudi Arabia to
As Cameron was discussing
deals to sell armored personnel carriers, sniper rifles, small arms
ammunition and weapon sights to the Saudi regime, the monarchy's troops
killed an anti-regime's protester in eastern Qatif region, in a
demonstration calling for the release of political prisoners in the
His visit also comes at a time when
MPs on the Committee on Arms Export Controls demand to know why the
government has continued to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, “given there was
After the prime minister's
meeting with King Abdullah a Downing Street spokesperson said the two
leaders "agreed to strengthen co-operation in a range of areas."
two leaders also discussed recent developments in the region, in
particular their shared concerns about the situation in Syria, Iran and
Yemen” , said the spokesperson.
discussed the future of Syria and his country's plan for ousting of
President Assad, when the Saudis have not only been involved in the
crushing of dissent in Bahrain, but also in their own eastern province
Last year, the British premier
conducted a mini-tour of the region, but he did not visit the Kingdom.
That tour, as evidenced by later agreement was merely designed to flog
weapons to oppressive regimes as the Islamic Awakening swept across the
Cameron was joined on the trip by
British business leaders, including representative from the defense
giants BAE, Thales and Qinetiq.
to Saudi Arabia also comes as a committee of MPs questioned why the
government had not blocked weapons sales to Saudi Arabia given the
widening unrest earlier in the country.
does the UK believe that the assurances relating to end-use will not be
breached?", asked the committee on arms exports controls.
Arabia is Britain's biggest trading partner in the Middle East, with
bilateral trade worth 15 billion pounds a year. Saudi investment in
Britain is worth more than 62 billion pounds.
In: Other Middle East
Tags: uk, saudi, weapons, deal, revolution,
Location: United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 1896 | Comments: 4 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
|Liveleak on Facebook|