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UK Labour party to vote on ending arms sales to Israel

UK's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, seen addressing the 2016 Labour Party conference on September 26, 2016 [Rwendland/Wikipedia]
UK's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, seen addressing the 2016 Labour Party conference on September 26, 2016 [Rwendland/Wikipedia]

UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry slammed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s human rights record in a searing speech today.

In an address at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Thornberry said: “No one has taken more inspiration from [US President Trump] than the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman.”

She went on to attack former UK Prime Minister Theresa May for “rolling out the red carpet” for the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia.

She said: “Why on earth are they rolling out the red carpet for Bin Salman? Well now we know why. It was the only way to cover up the blood that is dripping from his hands from the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the slaughter of the thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen.”

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The crown prince is alleged to have played a key role in the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey in October last year.

Thornberry added: “When [Prime Minister] Boris makes his speech to Tory Party conference, it has been exactly one year since Khashoggi was butchered inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.”

She went on to condemn the UK government for refusing to point the finger at Saudi officials because it says authorities in the kingdom are “still investigating”. Adding that action needed to be taken to stop the “reckless” move towards military action as the only means to solve global disputes, and to stop the “irresponsible” sale of weapons to countries who use them to kill civilians in Yemen and Gaza, hinting at a suspension of arms sales to Israel.

She continued:

We will never again put strategic alliances with monsters like Bin Salman before our responsibility to uphold human rights.

Labour Party conference will later today hear a motion which would see it “adhere to an ethical policy on all UK’s trade with Israel, in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and stopping any arms trade with Israel that is used in violation of the human rights of Palestinians.”

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