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European Parliament calls for EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia


The European Parliament today adopted a resolution including a call for an EU-wide arms embargo against Saudi Arabia until alleged breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen have been fully investigated. MEPs supported the inclusion of the amendment proposed by the Greens/EFA group in a resolution on the situation in Yemen. Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA foreign affairs spokesperson Alyn Smith, who led efforts to get the amendment passed, said:

"The European Parliament's call for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia is unprecedented and reflects growing frustration at the conduct of war in Yemen by the Saudi Air Force. Saudi Arabia is a top arms client of the UK and France, and there is evidence that these weapons have been used in gross violations of international law in Yemen, where thousands of civilians have been killed since the start of the war in March 2015.

"The humanitarian situation in Yemen is getting worse, not better, and there is a clear need for greater scrutiny. There needs to be an independent inquiry that meets international law standards.

"There are real grounds to believe that EU-made weapons systems are being exported to Saudi in breach of international and EU law. Given the widespread and valid concerns over the conduct of the war by Saudi forces, the call for an EU-wide arms embargo is proportionate and necessary. EU foreign policy high representative Federica Mogherini must now heed this call and investigate how an arms embargo can be implemented."