Jeremy Corbyn: Britain must halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia immediately

Jeremy Corbyn

This is the full statement published by Jeremy Corbyn MP on Theresa May’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister should put human rights and international law at the centre of her talks with Saudi Arabia’s government this week.

Numerous human rights organisations, including the UNHRC and Amnesty International, have documented the dictatorial Saudi monarchy’s shocking human rights record.

The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million refugees uprooted from their homes.

Yemen urgently needs a ceasefire, a political settlement, and food aid, not more bombing. British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

Britain must halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia immediately, throw its weight behind a ceasefire resolution at the United Nations and back a full and genuinely independent investigation of the evidence of war crimes in Yemen.

As it stands, the British-Saudi relationship is damaging to the people of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the wider Middle East, and helping to export insecurity to the rest of the world.

Unless the prime minister challenges the Saudi regime over its abuses this week, it will be clear she is ready to sacrifice human rights and security on the altar of the arms trade.

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