Alwaght- The Kingdom of Spain is set to sign a framework deal to sell Kingdom of Saudi Arabia warships worth 2.2 billion dollars and train the regime’s army despite rights groups apposition to selling arms to the West-backed state that is involved in brutal aggression on neighboring Yemen.
Under the agreement, Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia will sell five small warships, Spain’s army will train Saudi military personnel and contractors will build a naval construction center in the kingdom, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The deal will be signed in Madrid, where Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on a state visit, the source added. An industry official confirmed the details of the agreement, though Navantia declined to comment.
Saudi regime has launched a deadly aggression against Yemen since March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the country’s Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration.
The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured during the past three years.
The United Nations says a record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. A high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating that there was a growing risk of famine and cholera there.
Campaign groups Amnesty International, Spain’s FundiPau, Greenpeace and Oxfam have called on Spain to stop selling military equipment to the Saudis, blaming the oil-rich kingdom of abusing and massacring yemenis.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who serves as defense minister and controls economic and energy policy, was welcomed by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela palace on the outskirts of Madrid.
He also met Defence Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal, and lunched at the royal palace with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The two kingdoms have been negotiating the warship deal since 2015, and the final agreement between the Saudi defense ministry and Navantia would take longer to complete, the ministry source said.