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    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Parliament in London, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

    UK Should Stop Selling Arms to Saudis If Seeks to Promote Human Rights

    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
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    UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia should have never been approved and should be immediately stopped if London is serious about promoting human rights, a spokesman for Campaign Against Arms Trade told Sputnik Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The British government risks being prosecuted for war crimes after further evidence of the use of UK-made missiles, sold to the Saudi Arabia, against civilian targets in Yemen, has come to the fore, The Independent newspaper reported Friday.

    "These arms sales should never have been approved in the first place. If the UK is serious about promoting human rights and democracy then it must finally stop all arms sales to Saudi Arabia," Andrew Smith said.

    He underlined that despite the fact that Britain has been arming Saudi Arabia for decades, "powerful nations are rarely held accountable for the war crimes they commit."

    A UK government spokesman said earlier in a statement that London "takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously" and has one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world, operating on a case-by-case basis, and "risks around human rights abuses are a key part of our assessment."

    Smith stressed that despite the claims of the rigorous and robust UK arms export controls "in reality nothing could be further from the truth," and "Saudi Arabia is an oppressive dictatorship with a history of aggression towards its neighbors."

    Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government and Houthi opposition movement,  supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Since March, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of current Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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