Spain urged not to sell warships, arms to Saudis ahead of bin Salman’s trip
A coalition of leading rights organizations have urged Spain, the last stop on the Saudi crown prince’s international tour, to scrap its planned sale of warships and weapons to the aggressive regime in Riyadh.
UK-based rights body Amnesty International, British charity Oxfam, and environmental campaigner Greenpeace, and a number of other rights entities made the plea as part of the Arms Under Control coalition on Wednesday, the Middle East Eye news portal said.
The ostentatious tour, meant to award the kingdom arms and investment deals and promote the image of Saudi Arabia’s future king, has already taken Mohammed bin Salman to Egypt, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The tour, however, has been overshadowed by the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands while unsuccessfully trying to restore Yemen’s Riyadh-aligned government.
The Arms Under Control coalition’s plea concerned Spanish manufacturer Navantia’s planned sale of five warships to the kingdom, which the rights groups say would be used in Saudi Arabia’s deadly military campaign against Yemen.
The groups called on Spain “to join a growing number of countries like Germany, Sweden, Norway or Belgium that have stopped exporting arms” to the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen.
Salman is expected to arrive in Spain on Thursday.
During his stay in the UK, high-profile British anti-war groups Stop the War Coalition and Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) held rallies against the kingdom’s war crimes against Yemen and rights violations at home.
While Salman was in France, a French lawyer filed a lawsuit in a Paris court against him, accusing him of complicity in torture in Yemen.
Prominent rights groups have also urged French President Macron to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia and pressure the regime over its war crimes and human rights abuses.