12:14 GMT23 January 2021
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    HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Helsinki will not authorize new arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Finland's Foreign Ministry said Thursday, citing an alarming situation in Yemen.

    "The Government discussed arms export matters and decided that in the current situation there are no foundations for new arms export authorisations," the ministry said in a statement.

    The Finnish ministry explained that the decision was based on EU’s arms export criteria and deliberations that paid attention, in particular, to Yemen where Saudi and UAE air forces have been attacking Houthi rebels.

    Earlier on Thursday, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced that the Scandinavian nation would not approve any new arms exports to Saudi Arabia over its role in the Yemen war and the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    READ MORE: Denmark Suspends Weapon Export Approvals to Saudis Amid Khashoggi Scandal

    War in Yemen

    The hostilities in war-torn Yemen continue raging since 2015. It started with the standoff between Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi's government and Shiite Houthi movement, which forced the president to flee the country. Later, the Saudi-led coalition announced their support for Hadi and joined the fight.

    READ MORE: Estimated 85K Children May Have Starved to Death in Yemen Due to Saudi War

    Due to the severe humanitarian situation in the country, the United Nations has been trying to revive peace talks between Houthi rebels and the government in Yemen. However, a UN plan to organize talks in Geneva in September was abandoned after Houthis said they were prevented from leaving the country.

    READ MORE: State Department Says Yemen's Hudaydah Port Must Be Turned Over to Neutral Party

    arms exports, Houthis, UAE, Yemen
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