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Press release |

Arms embargoes needed against countries that breach humanitarian law

EU arms exports

The EU Member States must place arms embargoes against all countries that fail to uphold international humanitarian law. That is one of the key demands of a report from Greens/EFA MEP Bodil Valero on EU arms exports. The contents of the report will be debated today, with the final vote tomorrow.

Bodil Valero, rapporteur for the report on Arms Exports, comments:

"The EU needs to take responsibility for the dreadful consequences of some of EU Member States' arms exports. European weapons are contributing to human rights abuses and forced migration, which are completely at odds with the EU's common values. They also feed terrorism, one of the very issues that all Member States claim to be fighting hard against.

"Where countries fail to uphold international humanitarian law, there should be no question of EU countries continuing to provide them with arms. Embargoes are desperately needed. We also want action against the EU countries that continue to flout common rules. There needs to be a sanctions mechanism so that countries that fail to uphold the EU’s rules face real consequences."

The report makes particular reference to the problem of EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia, which are contributing to human rights abuses in Yemen. Bodil Valero adds:

"Saudi Arabia is committing grave breaches of humanitarian law in Yemen. EU Member States cannot continue to hide from their complicity in this problem. I am pleased that the European Parliament will back my call on the High Representative Mogherini to launch an embargo."

Background

Bodil Valero took part in a Facebook live discussion on the report, which you can view here: https://www.facebook.com/greensefa/videos/1565924430135069/ 

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