The UK government has chosen to receive “the architect” of the ongoing war in Yemen instead of taking humanitarian efforts to alleviate the crisis.
Member of the UK parliament from the Labour Party Chris Williamson said on Tuesday.
Williamson made the comment on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s upcoming visit to London.
The crown prince would arrive in London on Wednesday for a three-day visit, during which he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, the royal family and UK government officials in spite of planned protests from the UK Stop the War Coalition (STWC) group.
“We should be a force for humanitarian good in the world and we are quite the opposite of that, we’re actually helping to prosecute the war in Yemen rather than ending it.
“Rather than taking a humanitarian stand, the government is actually hosting the architect of this war,’’ Williamson told a press conference.
According to the lawmaker, the current UK government has been “essentially fuelling the war in Yemen” and consequently is “entirely implicated” in the country’s humanitarian crisis.
Activists from a number of groups, such as the Campaign against Arms Trade and Human Rights for Yemen, intend to stage a rally outside May’s Downing Street office, reportedly at the time of her meeting with the crown prince.
Stephen Bell, a spokesman for the STWC, told newsmen in January that London had to withdraw its invitation to the crown prince, stating that Riyadh was responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in war-torn Yemen.
The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Shiite Houthi movement at Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s request, but the human rights organisations have sounded the alarm over the toll this campaign has been having on civilians.
The UK has faced its share of backlash from anti-war campaigners for selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
Report says the UK government insists that such exports are legitimate policy, but critics have pointed to the possibility of these weapons being used in Yemen on civilian targets.