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British premier defends selling arms to Saudi Arabia, citing anti-terrorism efforts

4bk9af89ccfc80dhlv_800c450British Prime Minister Theresa May defends selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which faced accusations of resorting to war crimes in Yemen.

May defended Saudi’s use of British weapons after a parliamentary committee tasked with evaluating arms exports said it was likely that British weapons were used in violation of international law.

May insisted that the UK’s close ties with the kingdom is more important.

“Actually, what matters is the strength of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. When it comes to counter-terrorism and dealing with terrorism, it is that relationship that has helped to keep people on the streets of Britain safe.”

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on May to halt the arms sales because of the “humanitarian devastation” caused by the aggressive war on Yemen.

The Saudis stand accused of bombing multiple international hospitals run by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières, as well as schools, wedding parties and food factories.

Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world and since 2010, two-thirds of weapons have gone to the Middle East, the Independent has revealed.

In a leaked draft report, the Committee on Arms Exports Control echoed both the European Parliament and the Commons International Development Select Committee in calling for arms sales to the autocracy to end.

“The weight of evidence of violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition is now so great, that it is very difficult to continue to support Saudi Arabia,” it read, as quoted by the state-funded BBC.