02:23 GMT10 May 2021
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    The majority of people polled in the United Kingdom are opposed to selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom’s largest defense customer, ahead of a High Court case on the issue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An Opinium poll conducted for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) shows that 62 percent of people polled said selling arms to Saudi Arabia is unacceptable, The Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

    Only a quarter of those polled said that the country should promote the sale of UK military equipment to foreign governments, while 71 percent think that the United Kingdom should not promote the sale of weapons to foreign governments accused of violating international humanitarian law.

    CAAT will on February 7 take the government’s decision to keep arming Saudi Arabia to a judicial review by the High Court. The organization is calling for the Department for International Trade to suspend all existing arms export licenses and to stop issuing new licenses to Saudi Arabia.

    The UK government has repeatedly been blamed by humanitarian organizations for fueling the Yemeni conflict by supplying Saudi Arabia with arms, allegedly including cluster bombs, the use of which is prohibited by an international treaty.

    The United Kingdom has issued more than 3.3 billion pounds ($4.1 billion) in arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia since the kingdom began its air campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels in 2015.

    Last December, Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, the prime minister of the unrecognized Yemeni government formed by Shia Houthi rebels and their allies, accused the United Kingdom of committing war crimes in Yemen by selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

    The UK government insists all arms exports are subject to strict licensing criteria and comply with international and domestic law.


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    arms sales, Houthis, poll, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), Yemen, Britain, Saudi Arabia
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