Government confirms there are 27 arms export licences between Spain and Saudi Arabia

THERE are currently 27 valid export licences covering shipments of weapons including bombs and ammunition from Spain to Saudi Arabia, the government has confirmed.
Spain’s Inter-ministerial Board of Foreign Trade in Defence Materials (JIMDDU) approved one in 2015, five in 2016, 17 in 2017 and four this year.
The clarification comes in response to a parliamentary question submitted by a member of the leftist pro-Catalan independence Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña (ERC).
One of the licenses covered the shipment of some 400 laser-guided bombs which caused controversy earlier this year when Defence Minister Margarita Robles threatened to suspend it.
Robles mulled calling the sale off over concerns they were being used in the Yemen Civil War which has claimed the lives of tens of thousands, including civilians.
The shipment went ahead after Riyadh said it would pull out of a €1.8 billion contract with the state-backed Navatia company to build five warships for the Saudi navy.
The news comes as Saudi Arabia continues to face international pressure over its involvement in the Yemen Civil War and the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Riyadh has refused to extradite suspects following a request from Turkish authorities who are investigating the killing and claim the Saudis had a hand in orchestrating it. Riyadh denies any involvement.

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Joe Gerrard

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