British Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to launch an inquiry into the delivery of UK-made arms to Saudi Arabia, who were recently condemned by the UN for using missiles against civilians in Yemen.
Cameron dismissed opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s demands that the British government launch an inquiry over the controversial arming of the Saudi regime, who Corbyn says have violated international law.
According to Corbyn, such a probe justified in light of the violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Saudi-led coalition when striking civilian targets in Yemen, as depicted in a UN report sent to the United Nations Security Council last week.
“As the Right Honourable gentleman knows, we have the strictest rules for arms exports [of] almost any country anywhere in the world,” Cameron said during Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons, as quoted by The Independent.
Cameron added that he refused to “run a foreign policy by press release” and wanted “a foreign policy which is in the interests of the British people.”He stressed that the Conservative Cabinet supported the legitimate Yemeni government as a means of preventing terrorist attacks against British people being planned in there.
Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government and Houthi rebels, the country’s main opposition faction, for more than a year. Since March, a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Last week, the UK government released arms sales statistics demonstrating that British arms companies had boosted their sales to Saudi Arabia by more than 100 times over the course of last year — from 9 million pounds (almost $13 million) in April-June 2015 to over 1 billion pounds ($1.43 billion) in July-September.