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Norway suspends arms exports to UAE over Yemen war

Updated January 3

Norway on Wednesday announced it has suspended weapons and ammunition exports to the United Arab Emirates because of the nation’s involvement in the Yemen war.

“The development of the armed conflict in Yemen in the autumn of 2017 has been serious and there are severe concerns for the humanitarian situation,” the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the ministry closely follows the situation in Yemen, and especially considers human rights violations and the risk of the use of Norwegian defense materials in the country.

The UAE is part of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been fighting in Yemen since March 2015.

The conflict has killed more than 8,750 people, including many civilians, according to the World Health Organization.

The suspension of arms exports, adopted on December 19, is a precautionary move and does not indicate that Norwegian weapons have been used in Yemen, the ministry said. Arms exports from Norway to the UAE have been allowed since 2010.

Norwegian arms sales in the UAE had almost doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year, reaching 79 million kroner (around €8 million, $9.7 million at current rates).

The foreign ministry said the threshold for rejecting export licenses for B-materials and multipurpose items for military use to countries participating in military operations in Yemen will also be lowered further.

Norway does not sell arms and ammunition to Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill 68 Yemen civilians in a single day – UN

With reporting by AFP

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