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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY MP RAISES CONCERNS OVER CIVILIAN DEATHS IN YEMEN

16/12/2016  

‘Issue features regularly in my constituency mailbag’ - Angus Robertson

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson has asked Prime Minister Theresa May what it will take for the UK government to adopt an ethical foreign policy following the news the United States has halted the supply of precision guided munitions to Saudia Arabia citing concern for civilian deaths in Yemen.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson regularly receives concerns from constituents all over Moray on a wide range of international and humanitarian issues. The situation for civilians in Yemen has featured in many letters to the MP in recent weeks.

A big concern raised by constituents is the UK’s support of Saudi Arabia through arms sales.

Speaking in Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Robertson said civilians have suffered grievously with the bombing of hospitals, schools and markets and the United Nations says that 60% of civilian casualties are caused by airstrikes.

In addition the U.S government has said that “systematic, endemic problems in Saudi Arabia’s targeting drove the US decision to halt a future weapons sale involving precision-guided munitions”.

The UK has licensed over £3.3bn worth of arms to Saudi forces since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015 and is trying to sell a new generation of fighter jets to the Saudi military. UK supplied precision guided missiles Paveway IV are manufactured in Scotland.

The SNP in Westminster has raised the issue of UK government arms sales to Saudi Arabia on sixty occasions across twenty five debates. Angus Robertson previously raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions to David Cameron.

Commenting Angus Robertson MP said:

“This is an issue of great concern to many of my constituents in Moray, who are distressed by the impact on many, many innocent people in Yemen. It is a concern that I very much share.

“For as long as I have been in Westminster I have been raising the issue of the UK’s foreign policy and the fact that is not an ethical policy. The decision taken by the U.S to halt arms sales to Yemen is a huge embarrassment for the UK who are now lagging behind.

"The SNP has long campaigned for the UK government to halt arms sales to Saudia Arabia -the issue has been raised 60 times by SNP MPs (not counting multiple contributions in one debate) across 25 debates.

"The atrocities in Yemen are of devastating proportions, and it begs the question of what needs to happen for the UK government to finally take a stand, and stop selling arms to a country accused of killing civilians."

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