Alwaght- British officials continued arms sales negotiations with Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom leaders' heinous murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s, The Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.
The British tabloid reported that it had evidence that "a high-level delegation from the Defence and Security Organisation, which exists solely to promote arms exports, was in Riyadh on the day of the killing, October 2. They returned for two more meetings, on October 14 and 22, despite condemnation of the journalist’s death."
By the time the third meeting took place, the Saudi regime had already discarded its numerous contradictory explanations on Khashoggi’s fate and acknowledged that he was killed in a dispute.
Among the British delegation were the UK Department for International Trade Defense & Security Organization (DIT DSO)’s interim head of Mission in the Middle East as well as retired Air Vice Marshal Nigel Maddox, a military advisor.
That's a rather different question. Most importantly, the logic is not sound. It's like saying: I stole a car, so what; do you think cars would stop being stolen if I stopped thieving? In reality, the choice to value life over wealth would absolutely reduce the number of regugees
The argument goes if you are the arms supplier you have some leverage over the buyers. There are plenty of other arms manufacturers out there. Personally I would rather the UK had absolutely no dealings whatsoever with Saudi Arabia
This raises questions about British government officials’ sincerity in their criticism of Riyadh in the aftermath of the murder.
On October 19, the day Saudi finally came clean, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned Riyadh there would be “consequences” if Saudi authorities were found to have been involved in the assassination.
Days before on October 13, reports surfaced claiming that London was gathering a list of Saudi officials who could potentially come under sanctions as a punishment for their involvement.
There were even reports British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had intercepted data that showed Khashoggi was killed on orders from a “member of the royal circle.”
“There is a rank hypocrisy at the heart of the Government’s foreign policy,” said Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against Arms Trade. “As Jeremy Hunt was in the Commons condemning the mur¬¬der, there were civil servants in Riyadh pushing for even more arms sales.”
Documents obtained by the Mirror were titled “ROC: Riyadh Operations Centre requirements,” which seems to be a reference to Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war on Yemen.
The UK has licensed over £4.7billion worth of arms exports to Riyadh since the deadly conflict began in March 2015.
In response to the Houthis advances, a coalition of Arab states launched a campaign in 2015 to defeat the Houthis and restore the Yemeni government.
The coalition consist of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan.
The US and the UK are the main international backers of the Saudi coalition.
The US and the UK are Saudi Arabia’s most powerful supporters. The US signed a $110bn arms deal with Saudi last year, while the UK has sold around £4.5bn worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia since 2015.
Britain has also been providing combat intelligence and target data to Saudi Arabia over the course of the war, which has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and put millions more on the verge of famine.
The war is being led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler who is also accused of personally ordering Khashoggi's murder.