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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 105329, tabled on 19 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the (i) closure of Sana’a international airport from August 2016-February 2020 and (ii) other restrictions placed on imports of food and medicine into Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition constitute a pattern indicating the deliberate targeting of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population prohibited by Article 54 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.

Answered on

27 October 2020

We take very seriously all allegations of breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect international humanitarian law. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law in connection with countries to whom arms and military equipment are licensed for export, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non Governmental Organisations and international organisations.