IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

SAUDI PRINCE VISIT: PRIME MINISTER MUST RAISE CONFLICT IN YEMEN

The SNP’s Westminster leader has written to the Prime Minister urging her to use the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to raise the violation of human rights and international law in Saudi Arabia’s conduct in the war in Yemen.

Ian Blackford MP warned that with the situation deteriorating rapidly in Yemen, the UK government must hold involved parties to account and increase aid efforts, rather than fuel the conflict with a policy of further arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Since the conflict began in 2015, the UK government’s arms sales to the Kingdom have totalled £4.6bn.

The United Nations has described the ongoing situation in Yemen as “the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster,” and estimates that more than 9,245 people have been killed and 52,800 injured since March 2015.

Ian Blackford MP said:

“The visit of the Saudi Crown Prince to the UK comes amid a backdrop of the brutal war in Yemen. The Prime Minister must use the meeting to raise serious concerns over violations of international law in its conduct in the war in Yemen.

“The UK is not a bystander in the Yemeni conflict given the UK government has sold over £4.6billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the war began – despite mounting evidence of breaches in international law and concerns over the growing humanitarian crisis.

“The facts on the ground in Yemen are truly distressing. Around 75% of the population – 22.2 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million people who require urgent assistance to survive.

“If the UK is to be seen as a force for good and a genuine partner for peace, then the Prime Minister must commit to raising these issues with the Crown Prince during talks tomorrow and suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

“It’s high time the UK government used its influence with Saudi Arabia to bring about a meaningful and political solution to the war in Yemen, and address the Kingdom’s poor record on human rights.”

ENDS