British governmental collusion with Saudi, Bahraini dictatorships

This video from the USA is called US-Saudi Weapons Deal.

From the Campaign Against Arms Trade in Britain:

Press Release

22 November 2013

Saudi-Bahrain report is a whitewash

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned the Foreign Affairs Committee’s new report on UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a whitewash.

CAAT had high hopes when the inquiry was announced in September 2013. However, earlier this year, CAAT began to have major concerns about the way the inquiry was being conducted. These included:

the appointment of Sir William Patey, former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as Specialist Adviser to the Committee. He could not have been expected to act in a disinterested and questionning manner

an informal meeting with the representatives from BAE Systems, the UK’s largest arms company and major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia, with Sir Sherrard Cowper Coles, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and now international business adviser to BAE, and Bob Keen, BAE head of government relations

the seven-month delay in publishing some of the written evidence to the inquiry, including that of CAAT and other critical voices. While it was said some of the delayed evidence raised concerns about individual safety, CAAT’s did not and was eventually published in full.

Ann Feltham, CAAT’s Parliamentary Co-ordinator, who has been following the progress of the inquiry, said:

Unfortunately it looks as though arms company and establishment interests reached into the heart of this inquiry. The Foreign Affairs Committee is giving cover to the UK government as it continues the policy of pandering to despicable regimes in its desire to drum up sales for BAE Systems.

She added:

The problem is not that the UK government is failing to explain its approach to Saudi Arabia to the UK public; it is the approach itself that is the problem. The Government needs to put human rights at the heart of its policy towards Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, not the interests of the arms companies. Otherwise it is a betrayal of those protesters who seek human rights and democratic freedoms.


For further information contact CAAT at or call 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232.

  1. Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest customer for weaponry, having been licensed over £5.5 billion worth of arms in the five and a half years, Jan 2008-June 2012. Almost £5 billion of this total is for military aircraft, most notably Eurofighter Typhoons, £236 million is “grenades, bombs, missiles and countermeasures” and £90 million is small arms.
  2. The UK has licensed over £22.5 million worth of worth of arms to Bahrain in the same period, including £12.2 million worth of small arms. In February 2011, at the beginning of the Arab Spring, the UK revoked 44 arms licences to Bahrain; however, by June arms sales had resumed. In March 2011 Saudi Arabia employed British manufactured BAE Tactica armoured vehicles in Bahrain to support the Bahrain government crackdown on protesters.
  3. Recently released data on UK arms export licences covering the second quarter of 2013 show the dominance of Gulf State buyers of Eurofighters and other weaponry. Saudi Arabia had licences approved to the value of over £1.585 billion, with the largest single licence for £1.582 billion for “military aircraft”. Arms export approvals to Bahrain were agreed to the value of £9.4 million, of which over £7.5 million was small arms (including 5,000 assault rifles), £1.2 million for “military technology” and £400,000 for “armoured plate, body armour and helmets”.
  4. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) submitted written evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry focusing on arms exports to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the detrimental effects of the relationship on the UK. You can read the submission and CAAT’s concerns about the inquiry here.
  5. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works to end the international arms trade. The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and society and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems. In 2012, CAAT was awarded a Right Livelihood Award – the “Alternative Nobel Prize” – for its “innovative and effective campaigning against the arms trade”.

See also here.

Bahrain hearing ignores failures of US policy: here.

Time to Release Bahraini Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab from Prison: here.

21 thoughts on “British governmental collusion with Saudi, Bahraini dictatorships

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  6. Tue, Dec 31, 2013

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