Saturday, December 10, 2016

Boris Johnson should back Labour calls to stop selling arms to Saudis: Corbyn

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should be "brave enough" to support rising calls for the British government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia after his comments about "proxy wars", British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn will say in a speech on Saturday.

Corbyn will also accuse Prime Minister Theresa May of sacrificing "human rights on the altar of the arms trade".

Johnson was rebuked by Downing Street after The Guardian newspaper published footage of a conference in Rome at which Johnson accused Saudi Arabia of "puppeteering".

Citing Saudi Arabia, the UK's closest ally in the Middle East, and Iran, he said "the tragedy for me - and that's why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area - is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves".

He said there were politicians in the region who were "twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives".

Corbyn, who has been highly critical of Saudi Arabia's human rights record, said May should have said more about the matter during her recent visit to the Gulf - where she attended a six-nation summit.

Johnson himself is currently in Bahrain on the first leg of a tour of the Middle East.

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