LONDON (Dispatches) – Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he will stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen if he wins an election this month.
"Labour will stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and work to end the war there, not actively support it as the Conservative government has done,” Corbyn said in a speech setting out Labour’s foreign policy objectives.
"Labour’s new internationalism means we will create a peace and conflict-prevention fund and invest an extra 400 million pounds ($513 million) to expand our diplomatic capacity and increase oversight of arms exports to ensure we’re not fuelling conflicts, as in Yemen and in Israel and the Palestinian territories,” he said in the speech in the northern English city of York.
The UK-, U.S.-backed Saudi air campaign against neighboring Yemen has so far killed thousands of civilians, caused millions to leave or lose their homes, and sparked widespread starvation.
British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been a major contributory factor to the conflict in Yemen.
Since the war against Yemen began, the UK has licensed the sale of at least £4.7bn ($6bn) worth of arms to Riyadh.
Apart from the UK, Saudi Arabia’s other allies, including the U.S., have also been providing the kingdom with weapons in its war against Yemen.
An American think tank said in April that it has found new data showing U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are "dramatically understated" and billions more than previously reported.