The Government have invited Mohammed bin Salman to officially visit London. This visit & the war on Yemen must be firmly opposed

As the ninth year of the US-Saudi alliance war against Yemen is coming to an end, the war remains without a clear end. The main reason for this is that several countries have common interests in keeping Yemen an unstable country.

One of the articles of the United Nation’s Charter states that no state has the right to intervene directly or indirectly , for any reason whatever, in the external and internal affairs of any state.

However, contrary to this principle, the Saudi-led coalition has promoted never-ending excuses to reinforce its brutal military intervention in Yemen and hide the actual dimensions of this aggression against the Yemeni people, their right to self-determination and sovereignty of their country.

Astonishingly, in a statement to one of the Saudi TV channels Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently stressed his total refusal to interfere in the internal affairs of countries, but the brutal crimes, humanitarian violations and total blockade in Yemen is contradictory to his statement.

As part of this continuing aggression, the alliance led by Saudi Arabia has never hesitated to assault the sovereignty of Yemen and its crimes are numerous – destroying infrastructure, looting wealth, stealing heritage, targeting the economy, and killing innocent people.

In 2020, the United Nations declared that more than 60 % of the Yemeni civilians’ deaths were because of the Saudi-led airstrikes – a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law.

Additionally, the imposed inhumane blockade on the Yemeni people has had devastating effects on all various aspects of civilian life throughout the country.

Furthermore, the Saudi regime has been supporting violent and sectarian forces, whilst pretending to oppose them. Saudi Arabia has recruited them as mercenaries in the coalition forces, in favour of supporting US imperialism and its allies in the region, and Mohammad Bin Salman has admitted this to the media.

We must be clear that British support for Saudi Arabia is key to the ongoing war on Yemen.

Since 2015, Britain has given a license to sell £5.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. Addtionally, British officials have offered military advice to Saudis.

In 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to London exposed Britain’s responsibilities in the devastating war, during which the British government announced its resumption of arms’ sales to Saudi Arabia despite the possibility of them being used against Yemen.

Yet the UK’s support for the Saudi-led military alliance against Yemen has sparked considerable controversy and opposition, with many saying that that the resumption of arms sales to Saudi Arabia was morally bankrupt, including then Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who commented that “The British government’s contradictory massages undermined the Britain’s claims to be a defender of human rights.”

In 2019, a British court ruled that the mechanism of making decision to sell arms to Saudi Arabia is illegal, as the Government had not made any effort to be sure whether a serious violation of humanitarian law has occurred in Yemen or not.

At the end of the last year, the Saudi Defence Minister and his British counterpart signed a defence cooperation plan, aimed to develop Riyadh’s defence capabilities, military industries and strengthen the military and defence powers of the two countries.

Now, the British government have invited Mohammed bin Salman to officially visit London, with the visit expected to be in October or November.

This visit and the continuing war on Yemen must be firmly opposed. Until the war is over, violations and crimes against the Yemeni people will remain a stain on the forehead of the international community.

Haifa Sharfaddin is a Yemeni anti-war campaigner.

You can sign the public statement opposing the visit of Mohammad Bin Salman here.

Source: Labour Outlook

14 Sep 2023 by Haifa Sharfaddin

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