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German churches call for halting arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Activists come together together to condemn exporting arms to Saudi Arabia on 9 September 2017, a few days before the DSEI Arms Export was due to take place in London, UK [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]
Activists come together together to condemn exporting arms to Saudi Arabia on 9 September 2017 [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]

Churches in Germany have called on the government to halt all the arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

During the Joint Conference for Church and Development, which was attended by Germany's Protestant and Catholic churches, the religious community demanded a halt to arms exports citing Saudi Arabia's military involvement in the Yemeni crisis.

In 2013, the German government agreed to export some €1 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia from January 2014 to April 2017. The agreement included exporting patrol boats and components of the Tornado and Eurofighter fighter jets.

The conference President, Martin Dostmann, criticised Saudi for blocking accessing to Yemen and hindering aid supplies to the war-torn country.

In September, the European Parliament has repeatedly renewed calls for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia as a result of "the Saudi violations in Yemen".

Read: EU recommends ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and 56 other NGOs have previously called for an independent international investigation into human rights abuses in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition, which was launched against the Houthi armed group in March 2015, says it is not targeting civilians, while human rights groups accuse it of bombing schools, hospitals, markets and residential areas.

EUEurope & RussiaGermanyInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaYemen
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