Weapon sales raise objections

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Several countries in the Saudi-led alliance that’s at war in Yemen bought weapons and other defense equipment from Norway last year. The sales have raised more objections from politicians in Parliament who oppose such sales by the country that annually awards the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The foreign ministry can’t guarantee that Norwegian ammunition hasn’t been used in the war in the Yemen,” Petter Eide, newly elected Member of Parliament for the Socialist Left party, told news bureau NTB.

Eide claimed that Norway must immediately halt sales and exports of weapons, ammunition and other defense hardware to countries in the alliance led by Saudi Arabia. They include Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi itself, according to NTB.

Norwegian exports of weapons and other defense material rose by 10 percent in 2016. NTB cited numbers in a parliamentary report on Norwegian weapon exports that was released late last week, showing total sales of to NOK 3.6 billion last year.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, who was defense minister at the time, claimed Norway is at the forefront of openness regarding the country’s own weapons exports. She claimed the arms sales occurred within the limits of a “strict and clear regulatory framework.”

At the same time, Søreide admitted that armed conflicts “and other global threats” are challenging. “Therefore it’s necessary for all applications for exports to areas where risks are high to be thoroughly and concretely evaluated on an individual basis,” Søreide told NTB.

newsinenglish.no staff