Yemen: Humanitarian and Political Situation - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:48 pm on 20th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 5:48 pm, 20th November 2017

The noble Lord asked for a yes or no answer. If you are supporting Saudi Arabia as an ally of the United Kingdom, you are supporting an ally, and you do not resolve a conflict by providing arms to AN Other. We provide arms exports to Saudi Arabia, which we acknowledge. At all times we impress on it the need to respect international humanitarian law. However, I repeat what I said earlier. A judgment on 10 July dismissed a claim brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade concerning arms exports to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen. The judgment recognised Her Majesty’s Government’s rigorous and robust processes to ensure that UK defence exports are licensed consistent with the consolidated EU and national arms exports licensing criteria. We are very particular about ensuring that that basis is retained and we continue our review quite robustly in that regard. The noble Lord said that this was a complex situation, and I agree. However, as I said, if you supply arms to an ally, a resolution is not to be found by ensuring that you supply to the other side as well.