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Saudi Arabia Is the World’s Top Arms Buyer

Saudi Arabia Is the World’s Top Arms Buyer

Saudis increased purchases 192% over five years Jason Ditz Posted on March 10, 2019Categories NewsTags Saudi Arabia

Most reports on international arms sales focus on the biggest sellers. That inevitably means the United States, the largest exporter by far in the growing market. You can’t have sales without buyers, however, and that side of the equation centers heavily on the Middle East. 

Middle Eastern countries now buy more than a third of all global arms. The biggest customer not just in the Middle East but in the world, is Saudi Arabia,whose purchases have soared 192% over a five year period. 

Locked in an endless war in Yemen, and always looking toward a war with Iran, Saudi Arabia has seen its military spending soar in recent years. Recent estimates have put Saudi Arabia at the third costliest military on Earth, behind on the US and China, and ahead of Russia. 

Unlike the US, China, or Russia, however, Saudi Arabia lacks a huge decades-old military-industrial complex to make all their weapons of war. Instead, the Saudis are pouring into overseas contracts, buying vast amounts of arms from the US and Britain. 

The Saudis show no sign of slowing down on this, but it isn’t clear how sustainable this is either. Already, Saudi war crimes are fueling a lot of calls to rethink arms sales to them. On top of that, the Saudis are spending 10% of their annual GDP on a mostly-imported military, which is a heavy burden for their economy to bear.

Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian

Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian

One has to admire the Canadian government’s manipulation of the media regarding its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite being partners with the Kingdom’s international crimes, the Liberals have managed to convince some gullible folks they are challenging Riyadh’s rights abuses.

By downplaying Ottawa’s support for violence in Yemen while amplifying Saudi reaction to an innocuous tweet the dominant media has wildly distorted the Trudeau government’s relationship to the monarchy.

In a story headlined “Trudeau says Canada has heard Turkish tape of Khashoggi murder”, Guardian diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour affirmed that “Canada has taken a tough line on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record for months.” Hogwash. Justin Trudeau’s government has okayed massive arms sales to the monarchy and largely ignored the Saudi’s devastating war in Yemen, which has left up to 80,000 dead, millions hungry and sparked a terrible cholera epidemic.

While Ottawa recently called for a ceasefire, the Liberals only direct condemnation of the Saudi bombing in Yemen was an October 2016 statement. It noted, “the Saudi-led coalition must move forward now on its commitment to investigate this incident” after two airstrikes killed over 150  and wounded 500 during a funeral in Sana’a.

By contrast when the first person was killed from a rocket launched into the Saudi capital seven months ago, Chrystia Freeland stated, “Canada strongly condemns the ballistic missile attacks launched by Houthi rebels on Sunday, against four towns and cities in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh’s international airport. The deliberate targeting of civilians is unacceptable.” In her release, Canada’s foreign minister also accepted the monarchy’s justification for waging war. “There is a real risk of escalation if these kinds of attacks by Houthi rebels continue and if Iran keeps supplying weapons to the Houthis”, Freeland added.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America

Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America

Photo Source International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons | CC BY 2.0

What transforms American elections from participatory politics into farce is the exclusion of crucial issues. Environmental crisis, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the wildly skewed distribution of political and economic power will affect how people live in coming years, regardless of how effectively they are excluded from electoral consideration.

Each of these are historical accumulations— they exist in different time-space than the binary oppositions of political marketing. Environmental crisis has been accumulating since the dawn of the industrial revolution. The threat of nuclear annihilation emerged from WWII as the lunatic id of technological innovation. Class relations have determined the realm of official power since the birth of capitalism.

This history grants presence to each, regardless of how hidden they are in any given political moment. If a bomb is dropped on a city in the forest, it destroys the lives of those it is dropped on regardless of whether you and I hear it. The subtexts of modernity are automatically written to preclude reflection.

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would unilaterally end the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty with Russia. The calculated irrelevance of American electoral politics to the side, this didn’t happen in an historical vacuum. It ties back to Bill Clinton’s unilateral placement of NATO troops on Russia’s border following George H.W. Bush’s promise not to do so.

Graph: On top of the $700 billion Pentagon budget for 2018, U.S. weapons sales abroad are big business. Among the top recipients of American weapons are Saudi Arabia, China, Japan and South Korea. The Saudis are currently funding a dirty war in Yemen that puts the lives of millions of human beings at risk. Sources: tradingeconomics.comSIPRI.

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The Global Economy and Political Murder: Why Trudeau Won’t Stop Arms Sales to Saudis

The Global Economy and Political Murder: Why Trudeau Won’t Stop Arms Sales to Saudis

Photo Source 2017 Canada Summer Games | CC BY 2.0

Almost 5,000 miles from the city in which his corpse was secretly buried – in one piece or in bits – by his Saudi killers, Jamal Khashoggi’s murder now rattles the scruples and the purse-strings of yet another country. For Canada, land of the free and liberal conscience – especially under Justin Trudeau – is suddenly confronted by the fruits of the bright young prime minister’s Conservative predecessors and a simple question of conscience for cash: should Trudeau tear up a 2014 military deal with Saudi Arabia worth $12bn?

When Ottawa decided to sell its spanking new light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to the Saudi kingdom, the Saudis already had a well-earned reputation for chopping off heads and supporting raving and well-armed Islamists. But Mohammed bin Salman had not yet ascended the crown princedom of this pious state. The Saudis had not yet invaded Yemen, chopped off the heads of its Shia leaders, imprisoned its own princes, kidnapped the Lebanese prime minister and dismembered Khashoggi.

So the Conservative Canadian government of Stephen Harper had no scruples about flogging off its LAVs – as these little armoured monsters are called – to Riyadh, specifically for the “transport and protection” of government officials.

Now you can hardly accuse Trudeau of being a supporter of the Saudi regime. Back in August, Mohammed bin Salman’s lads ordered the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh and closed down trade agreements with Canada after Trudeau’s foreign minister had complained about the arrest of women’s rights campaigners in the kingdom. The Canadians had made “false statements”, claimed the Saudis – whose own reputation for false statements would soon achieve proportions worthy of a Hollywood horror epic. Trudeau was in the Saudi doghouse as well as Washington’s because, only two months earlier, Trump had called him “dishonest and weak”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

DoD Official Urges Taiwan To Buy More Weapons In Fear Of “Cross-Strait Invasion” By China

A Pentagon official said Monday that Taiwan should increase its military spending to safeguard continued peace and security both across the Taiwan Strait and within the Indo-Pacific, reported Focus Taiwan.

David Helvey, U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, made the suggestion that the self-ruled island “must have resources to modernize its military and provide the critical material, manning and training needed to deter, or if necessary defeat, a cross-strait invasion” at the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

According to the official transcript of the speech, Helvey said in a combination of strengthening its military, Taiwan is developing conventional capabilities to meet the peacetime requirements of active military in the South China Sea.

The defense official criticized China for attempting to “erode Taiwan’s diplomatic space in the international arena while increasing the frequency and scale of [People’s Liberation Army] activity within and beyond the First Island Chain.”

He warned that Taiwan could not “afford to overlook preparing for the one fight it cannot afford to lose.”

In the face of China’s increasing military threat, the U.S. has utilized the Taiwan Relations Act to sell arms to Taiwan to maintain the island’s self-defense capability as part of an overall effort to prevent China from taking it over by force.

Helvey’s comments come days after President Xi Jinping told the Chinese military that they should “prepare for war” in the South China Sea.

Helvey told the audience that the U.S. and Taiwan both needed to update their strategy on arms procurement, planning, and training to thwart a Chinese invasion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Completes Largest Ammo Shipment To Europe Since NATO Bombing Of Yugoslavia

Is something big coming related to heightened tensions either with Russia, Iran, or Syria? It appears the U.S. military is publicizing a “show of force” of sorts, but not exactly in the conventional way of deploying tanks, ships, and aircraft.

Instead the official US Air Force website, af.mil, has announced to the world late this week that Ramstein Air Base in Germany has received its largest shipment of ammo in 20 years. The official government Air Force website announced:

The 86th Munitions Squadron on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, received its largest shipment of ordnance in recent history. Approximately 100 containers with a variety of munitions rolled into Ramstein during the month of October.

Master Sgt. David Head, 86th MUNS Munitions Operations section chief, noted that a delivery of such magnitude has not taken place since the late 20th century.

This, according to the press release, is so that the Department of Defense (DoD) will have the “ability to provide a rapid response against threats made by aggressive actors.”

Image source: US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa

It comes amidst dangerously heightened rhetoric from both the White House and NATO which are threatening to finally pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, something which Russia says it will refuse to renegotiate. The build-up of ordinance in the heart of Europe also comes after months of back-and-forth threats between Washington and Iran as the latter attempts to survive an aggressive US sanctions regimen.

An Air Force spokesman said of the unusual size of the munitions transfer: “This is the largest shipment of its kind since Operation Allied Force, which took place in 1999,” according to af.mil.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

India Defies US, Signs $5.4BN Arms Deal With Russia Amid Promises Of Closer Ties

In what amounts to Russia’s latest act of defiance against the US and its Western allies, and a sign that India is slowly moving away from the US sphere of influence, New Delhi has signed a $5.4 billion deal for the delivery of five S-400 weapons systems, one of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapons, RT reported. The deal risks provoking more sanctions against Russia from the US. The arms deal was finalized at a summit involving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi.

Because of the purchase, India now risks being sanctioned under Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which prohibits the purchase of arms from Russia. After his meeting with Modi, Putin said during a joint press conference that Russia would work with India to boost bilateral cooperation in the UN, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the G20. Putin added that the two countries would coordinate counter-terrorism efforts, and the two leaders also signed a deal on space cooperation, with Modi saying that he hoped Russia would help India send astronauts into space by 2022. 

Russia

The two countries also plan to cooperate on counter-terrorism efforts in Syria, as well as the status of the Iran nuclear deal. Russia has always “stood shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the energy sector and our goals,” Putin said.

The arms deal was signed during a period of increased trade between Russian and India, with total trade exceeding $9 billion last year. That figure is expected to rise as the two countries hope to encourage cross-border investment. By 2030, Putin said, he hopes to increase trade to $30 billion and investments by $15 billion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yemeni Suffering Made Easy

Yemeni Suffering Made Easy

Photo Source Felton Davis | CC BY 2.0

The Saudi and UAE-led operationto retake the rebel-held port city of Hodeidah, which could jeopardize the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, represents more than the latest tragic chapter in Yemen’s civil war. It is the fully expected outcome of several Western nations’ complicity in a multi-country assault that has made Yemen the world’s largest humanitarian disaster.

The recent attack on Hodeidah is both a function of Western arms support and a feature of longstanding Western political programming that has sustained the coalition’s attack on the country since a bombing campaign began in 2015.

For the last several years the US, UK, and France have all greenlit arms sales, refueling missions, and special forces guidanceto the coalition with few, if any, conditions. The operation in Hodeidah is no different, where French special forces are already on the ground and the US is providing intelligence and aerial refueling to assist the coalition. Since the beginning of the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, the results of American, French, and British arms and support have led to the bombing of funerals, weddings, markets, hospitals, schools and other public spaces populated by civilians. The latest bombing of a wedding party (because there have been more than one) killed twenty, including the bride herself.

Some observers equivocate as to whether these destructive acts stem from purposeful targeting or simply the negligent use of sophisticated Western weapons technology, but the frequency with which non-combatants, civilian production capacity, and food supply chains continue to be struck appear deliberate. To assume these attacks are anything but calculated is to stretch the bounds of reasonableness: within the first day of operations in Hodeidah, a Doctors Without Borders treatment facility suffered a coalition missile strike even though the GPS coordinates of the facility had been providedtwelve times and the roof had clear markings to distinguish the building for medical purposes.

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A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington

A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington

It’s a classic narrative: the foreign dignitary of a US ally visits Washington, the Pentagon and State Department are intent on selling him a large weapons package, a munitions maker seeks to capitalize on the visit, some senators resist and point to how US weapons are being used by that ally to kill civilians, and the administration answers that the US is not “a party” to the hostilities and must show good faith to the ally or risk losing its favor.

This is the Saudi Arabia story as its new leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, comes to Washington. His country, as I have reported more than a few times, is valued by the Trump administration for several reasons, none of them compelling: a “bulwark” against Iran’s Shiite regime, thus an unofficial partner to Israel in a nonexistent peace process; a major oil producer; a longtime customer for US weapons, in the billions of dollars (recall last year’s $110-billion arms package); the senior partner to the US in the bloody war in Yemen (an estimated 10,000 civilian casualties); and, perhaps most importantly these days, a good friend to private investors, starting with the Real-Estate-Agents-in-Chief, Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.

Now this Saudi leader, hailed as a modernizer and reformer in some media, expects a warm welcome—and the chance to purchase another $1 billion in weapons, including Raytheon Corporation’s precision-guided munitions. He will thus gain US endorsement to more efficiently carry out war crimes in Yemen, a country in collapse and in the midst of cholera and malnutrition epidemics. All this largesse to maintain US “influence” and help make the Middle East more “stable.”

Back in the day, the Obama administration came, belatedly to be sure, to the conclusion that constant support of the Saudis had been mistaken and should no longer be allowed to get in the way of other US interests. One of those was pursuing a nuclear agreement with Iran. (The full story is in Trita Parsi’s Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy.) Under Trump, however, that direction has been reversed. Not only is Saudi Arabia very much in favor; it benefits from the administration’s determination early on to loosen restrictions on arms sales abroad in order to make US arms manufacturer’s more competitive.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Under Trump, U.S. Still Leads World’s Arms Exporters–And Yemenis Are Still Paying the Price

Saudi soldiers stand by in an airfield as a Saudi Air Force cargo plane lands at an airfield in Yemen's northeastern province of Marib on January 26, 2018.The Saudi-led Arab coalition to oust Huthi rebels had pledged $1.5 billion in new aid for Yemen after the United Nations launched a record appeal to address what it says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.More than three-quarters of Yemen's 29 million population need humanitarian aid, with some 8.4 million at risk of famine, the UN humanitarian affairs office has said. / AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH AL-QADRY (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH AL-QADRY/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Abdullah Al-Qadry/AFP/Getty Images

UNDER TRUMP, U.S. STILL LEADS WORLD’S ARMS EXPORTERS — AND YEMENIS ARE STILL PAYING THE PRICE

UNDER THE TRUMP administration, the U.S. government and weapons manufacturers are making a killing through arms sales to other countries. A report released by the Security Assistance Monitor documented that more than $80 billion worth of arm sales notifications were sent to Congress in 2017.

The massive arms sales during President Donald Trump’s first year in office amounted to $5.7 billion more than the Obama administration proposed during its final year in 2016. Barack Obama’s banner year for sales, 2010, saw $102 billion worth of government-to-government sales proposed.

The U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the entire world’s arms exports from 2013 to 2017.

Owing to the spate of large sales under both administrations, the U.S. has maintained its role as the biggest arms exporter in the world. In a report released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, an international institute researching conflict and armaments, the U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the entire world’s arms exports from 2013 to 2017. Russia follows with 22 percent of the world’s exports.

All the while, U.S. arms manufacturing corporations have been raking in tremendous amounts of cash. Stocks for Lockheed Martin – ranked first for arm sales in 2016 by SIPRI – have been steadily on the rise since 2013. Stocks for the Boeing Company, which ranks second, have also been on the rise since 2013, but rose at an accelerated pace in 2017.

The report from the Security Assistance Monitor, a program of the Center for International Policy that tracks and analyzes U.S. security assistance programs worldwide, notes another difference between the Obama and Trump administration sale proposals: the types of equipment offered to foreign governments. The most significant sale offers under the Obama administration were for military aircraft, while in the first year of the Trump administration, missile and bomb sales dominated.

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US Still Pouring Massive Supply of Weapons Into War-Torn Yemen

(ANTIWAR.COM) — Three years into the 2015 Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, untold thousands are dead. Northern Yemen has been through the worst cholera outbreak in human history, and civilians continue to die in bunches from Saudi airstrikes against the region.

To call Yemen war-torn is really putting it mildly. Yemen is in a disastrous state, with a Saudi-led naval blockade threatening to starve millions. If there’s one thing Yemen has no shortage of, however, it’s weapons, with the US  ensuring a massive supply continues to pour into the hands of Saudi and Emirati forces.

US arms sales are themselves at a record high during this war, in no small part because of purchases by the United Arab Emirates, and particularly by the Saudis, who are dropping US bombs on northern Yemen as fast as they can buy them.

And while bombs and warplanes are the big dollar amount of sales, they also include large numbers of US-made automatic rifles and small arms ammunition. The UAE is particular bought $60 million in small arms in 2016 alone, both for their own direct involvement in Yemen and to arm their allied factions on the ground. The Saudis bought another $11 million.

Yemen isn’t a place to send weaponry that you want well-documented and carefully tracked, either. The Pentagon has confirmed they can’t account for about $500 million more in weapons that they’d given to the Hadi government up to 2015.

So the Saudi and UAE-bought small arms are being sent to Yemen to replace those “lost” weapons, but it’s not as if those weapons literally disappeared. Rather, they’re just not in the hands of officials, or at least not in any above-board way. That’s virtually certain to be the fate of this new influx as well.

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Is Sweden complicit in war crimes in Yemen?

Is Sweden complicit in war crimes in Yemen?

Despite the documented crimes of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Sweden continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A Yemeni man inspects the damage caused by an alleged Saudi-led air strike in Sanaa, Yemen, 04 February 2018. Picture by Hani Al-Ansi/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved. Despite Sweden leading a few special UN sessions in response to the acute humanitarian crisis in Yemen, it still has not demonstrated a political appetite to stop its arms sales to the most active warring parties in the Yemen war: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Swedish parliament is due to discussits governmental policies on Swedish arms exports, on the 28th of February – and anti-militarization Swedish groups are demanding that Sweden halts all its arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Human rights groups have documented serious attacks committed by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis

In the course of the ongoing war in Yemen human rights groups have documented serious attacks committed by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis against civilian sites. These attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes. While the Houthis grew their military power ever since they overtook Sana’a on September 2014, with the support of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Saudi-led coalition’s military activities in Yemen were only possible because of their weapon supplies from several western countries – including Sweden.

The Yemen Data Project reveals that since 2015, nearly one-third of Saudi air raids hit non-military sites; such as schools, hospitals, weddings, funerals among many other civilian targets. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have both documented dozens of unlawful coalition airstrikes, some of which may amount to war crimes.

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Turkey Slams ‘Allies’ For Sending “Planeloads Of Arms” To Terrorists Ahead Of Emergency UN Session

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned on Ankara’s allies, insinuating that the US in particular has been providing massive military support to Kurdish YPG in Syria.

In a speech to his ruling AK Party, RT reports that Erdogan said that ‘some allies’ of Turkey had provided the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia with 2,000 planeloads and 5,000 truckloads of weapons.

“Now, apart from 5,000 trucks, there are weapons and ammunition from around 2,000 planes.” the Turkish leader said.

He also accused Ankara’s allies of dishonesty when they say that they do not provide weapons for “terrorists,”referring to Kurdish-linked YPG forces.

It was not just Washington that Turkish officials were accusing, they specifically accused France of supporting terrorism ahead of an emergency UN session set for Monday

“Anyone who opposes Turkey’s operation in northern Syria’s Afrin region is siding with terrorists and will be treated accordingly,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

“We hope France will support Turkey’s operation against terrorists in Syria,” the minister added in reference to what Turkey has dubbed ‘Operation Olive Branch’.

After the Turkish military invaded northwest Syria over the weekend in an operation that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described as cleaning out Kurdish “terror nests”, France called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

FM Çavuşoğlu’s words were given in warning to French politicians who say they will take up the issue of Turkish aggression at the UN. France has urged Turkey to exercise restraint in its air and land assault targeting US-backed Kurdish forces in Afrin, near Turkey’s border.

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Wolf Blitzer Is Worried Defense Contractors Will Lose Jobs if U.S. Stops Arming Saudi Arabia

SEN. RAND PAUL’S expression of opposition to a $1.1 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia — which has been brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday afternoon.

Blitzer’s concern: That stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms manufacturers.

“So for you this is a moral issue,” he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. “Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?”

Paul stayed on message. “Well not only is it a moral question, its a constitutional question,” Paul said. “Our founding fathers very directly and specifically did not give the president the power to go to war. They gave it to Congress. So Congress needs to step up and this is what I’m doing.”

Watch the exchange:

Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, and has since been responsible for the majority of the 10,000 deaths in the war so far. The U.S.-backed bombing coalition has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians, hospitals, factories, markets, schools, and homes. The situation is so bad that the Red Cross has started donating morgue units to Yemeni hospitals.

The war’s incredible humanitarian toll has generated an increasing outcry in the United States. Earlier this month, more than 60 members of Congress signed a letter asking the administration to delay the most recent arms shipment. Ordinarily, under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days to block arms sales proposed by the administration — but by announcing the arms sale in August, most of those 30 days fell during Congress’s August recess.

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Stéphane Dion approves export permits for $11B in LAVs to be sent to Saudi Arabia

Stéphane Dion approves export permits for $11B in LAVs to be sent to Saudi Arabia

Documents say past sales have not been linked to violations of civil or political rights in the kingdom

Media placeholder

Documents obtained by CBC News are shedding light on the strategy the federal government is using to justify the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

The newly revealed documents from Global Affairs Canada confirm that Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has signed off on export permits to ship $11 billion worth of the $15-billion vehicle sale to the desert kingdom.

These documents also say that it’s rare for a foreign affairs minister to personally sign off on export permits, but that this is an exception because the deal is so high profile — and worth so much money.

The deal with Saudi Arabia was struck by Stephen Harper’s government, and when it was announced the Conservatives used the opportunity to tout the thousands of jobs it would create and sustain in southern Ontario.

But since the sale of vehicles by General Dynamics Land Systems was announced, questions have emerged over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Saudi rights violations noted

The documents acknowledge these concerns noting; “the reported high number of executions, suppression of political opposition, the application of corporal punishment, suppression of freedom of expression, arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment of detainees, limitations of freedom of religion, discrimination against women and the mistreatment of migrant workers.”

The document goes on to say that Canadian officials “engage regularly with Saudi officials” when required to raise human rights issues of concern while at the same time describing Canada’s military alliance with the kingdom as having been “cemented” during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

“Saudi Arabia is a key military ally supporting international efforts to counter ISIS in Iraq and Syria as well as countering instability in Yemen,” the documents says.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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