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US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia for Use in Yemen ‘Bilateral Issue’

© REUTERS / Mohamed al-SayaghiMember of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Rajeh Zayed (L) responds to a call during a visit by human rights activists to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 16, 2016
Member of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Rajeh Zayed (L) responds to a call during a visit by human rights activists to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The issue of the United States selling arms to Saudi Arabia that it uses in the conflict in Yemen is a bilateral one between Washington and Riyadh, Yemen’s permanent representative to the United Nations Khaled Hussein Alyemany told Sputnik on Monday.

A worker stands at a beverages factory after it was hit by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's Red Sea port city of Houdieda January 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — When asked whether the United States should continue to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia, Alyemany stated, "This is a bilateral issue with the Saudis."

Riyadh leads a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab states that is waging an air campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict in the spring of 2015.

Human rights groups and anti-war activists have been calling on the United States as well as the United Kingdom to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia because of the thousands of civilians being killed in the air campaign.

Alyemany noted that investigations on violations of international law in Yemen are being conducted by the country’s government as well as the Saudi-led coalition.

"The coalition itself recognized that they made a mistake in the funeral bombardment. If you accept that it’s your mistake that’s in international law that recognizing the mistake is part of the solution of that," Alyemany said.

On December 13, media reports emerged that the US government planned to halt some arms sales to Saudi Arabia because of concerns about a rising number of civilian casualties in Yemen.

However, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir later dismissed the reports.

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition including Arab countries has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Hadi.

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