British military exports to Gulf States amounted to 60 per cent of the UK’s total defence sales in 2015, UK Defence Ministry spokesperson, Adam Thomas, announced on Sunday.
Speaking to Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the side-lines of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) hell in Abu Dhabi, Thomas added that the UK total sales of weapons amounted to £7.7 billion in 2015. He added:
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia are potentially lucrative markets for British arms
Thomas noted to the UK’s massive presence at the IDEX event, referring to the UK pavilion which comprises over 80 British companies specialising in the defence and security industry and showcasing the UK’s latest defence technology across land, sea and air.
Some 1,235 defence and security companies from 57 countries are participating at IDEX event, which is considered as the largest international defence exhibition and conference in the MENA region
Early this month, the Campaign Against Arms Trade group demanded the British government to halt of UK weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over concerns that weapons could be used to kill civilians in Yemen, which entails breaching the international humanitarian law.
Despite concerns, last year, the UK government sold Typhoon jets to the Saudis and has promoted further weapons sales to Oman, the UAE, and Bahrain. The UK is the second-largest arms exporter in the world.