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Saudi Arabia: Military Aid

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 234802, tabled on 20 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014, published on 13 September 2017, what steps his Department has taken to reduce the legal exposure of (a) the armed forces and (b) workers supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force under contract to the UK government from alleged violations of international humanitarian law.

Answered on

25 March 2019

UK Armed Forces are not exposed to legal liability because the UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition and all UK military assistance to Saudi Arabia is in accordance with international and national law. All UK personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and control.

Regarding workers supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force under contract to the UK Government, our arms export regime is one of the most rigorous in the world. The key test for our continued arms exports to Saudi Arabia in relation to international humanitarian law (IHL) is whether there is a clear risk that those items subject to the licence might be used in a serious violation of IHL. The situation is kept under careful and continual review.

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