The main opposition leader of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has said he will stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, devastated by war, if his party wins the next elections in the country.
"Labor will stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and will work to end the war there, they will not actively support it as the conservative government has done," Corbyn said in a speech that sets the policy goals outside of his party before the December 12 poll. .
"The new labor internationalism means that we will create a peace and conflict prevention fund and invest an additional 400 million pounds ($ 513 million) to expand our diplomatic capacity and increase supervision of arms exports to ensure that we are not fueling conflicts , as in Yemen and in Israel and the Palestinian territories, "he said in the speech in the city of York, in the north of England.
The government led by the conservatives of the United Kingdom in June said it would not grant new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia or its coalition partners fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen after a court ruled that such sales were illegal.
The decision of the Court of Appeal followed a challenge from the Arms Trade Campaign that accused the government of licensing arms sales despite the clear risk that their use could violate international humanitarian law.
Court order violated
However, in September, the secretary of international trade of the United Kingdom admitted that the country had violated for the third time the judicial order in question, which caused the opposition to request his resignation.
Liz Truss told parliament that officials had discovered a new violation, 10 days after she was forced to write to the Court of Appeal admitting that two other export licenses had been illegally granted.
United Kingdom arms sales have significantly strengthened the ability of the Saudi-led coalition to carry out air strikes in Yemen, amid a devastating conflict facing the internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Houthis
The brutal war has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions to leave their homes, causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the United Nations.
After joining the conflict in Yemen in 2015, Saudi Arabia has become the world largest importer of weapons. In 2018, its military spending stood at almost $ 70 billion, which corresponded to approximately nine percent of its gross domestic product.
The United States is by far the largest arms supplier for the kingdom, with approximately 70 percent of sales between 2014 and 2018. The United Kingdom was the second largest in the same period, representing approximately 10 percent of Total purchases of Saudi weapons.
Al Jazeera and news agencies