Yemeni Houthis Slam UK's Hunt Over Calls to Lift Ban on Arms Sales to Riyadh

© AP Photo / Hani MohammedSmoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (File)
Smoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (File) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Leader of Yemeni Houthi rebel movement Mohammed Ali al-Houthi on Friday slammed UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt over trying to persuade Germany to lift the ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia as such deliveries could further worsen humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

"Britain sending aid does not change the tragic reality of its arms sales. Jeremy Hunt cannot promote peace while at the same time acting as an arms salesman", Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the president of Revolutionary Committee, told The Guardian newspaper.

The leader of the rebel movement went on to blame the coalition forces, led by Riyadh, for the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the country.

"The Saudi-led coalition, backed by Britain, commits war crimes and does not abide by, as Britain claims, 'the most stringent guidelines for the export of weapons in the world'. The principles mentioned are solely for political speech and to avoid the legal and moral responsibility concerning the war crimes and humanitarian situation that the British government faces as part of such alliance", al-Houthi underlined.

READ MORE: UK More Likely to Stop Arms Sales For Yemen War Than US — Ex-Pentagon Official

Earlier in the week, Hunt wrote in his opinion piece for the Politico media outlet that the crisis in Yemen would not be resolved if the United Kingdom stops delivering weapons to "some of the participants" in the conflict. Anti-arms groups have repeatedly criticised the UK for delivering arms to the kingdom, stressing that it made London complicit in Riyadh's human rights abuses, and called on the government to halt arms supplies to Gulf states.

Saudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen April 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
Saudi Coalition Will Strike Anything to ‘Win The War’ in Yemen, Even Civilians
The German government on Thursday extended the ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia until 30 September. The German authorities imposed the restrictions last October amid criticism toward Riyadh over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The United Kingdom and France have previously asked Germany to revoke the ban since some of the UK and French weapon manufacturers use German components.

The Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in the civil war in Yemen since March 2015, when it started to carry out airstrikes against the Houthis at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

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