Macron shamed over hypocritical Yemen stance as spotlight turns onto EU arms sales

Macron criticised over 'hypocritical' Yemen stance by expert

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Emmanuel Macron has been shamed over Frances’s role as an arms supplier to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. The war in Yemen between the Saudi Arabian coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels has now entered its seventh year of devastating fighting. Amid global outcry over the civilian loss of life, a spotlight has been turned on the role of EU states in supplying arms to those waging the war.

Amnesty International argues that by supply both the warring factions in Yemen, France has become an “accomplice” in the conflict.

Sarah Roussel from Amnesty told Euronews: “On one hand you have the minister of Foreign Affairs calling this a dirty war.

“And on the other hand, France is still exporting military weapons to the two main countries engaged in this conflict.

“So yes who can say that France is being hypocritical.

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European failure to enforce international treaties and national law governing arms exports has been attacked by Green MEP Hannah Neumann.

She said: “The common position is legally binding, but at the moment, the European Union doesn’t have any way to enforce it.

“It is the Member States that decide which kinds of licenses they give for arms export.

“But the systems in the member states are very different.”

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“This creates a lot of problems lately because there are many, many loopholes for companies,” she add.

“That is exactly what we politically we need to stop”.

A number of EU countries have no export bans on weapons shipments for use by Saudi Arabia, including Germany, Spain, France, and Belgium.

France is in fact the bloc’s largest arms exporter, while the country is the third-biggest arms seller globally.

French arms company ARQUUS based in the south of Paris is one of the main suppliers of the French Government. 

The company’s President Emmanuel Levacher told Euronews it was not possible to “physically or forcibly follow this equipment for years on end because they last several years, even several decades.

“So that’s the real topic of conversation,” he argued.

“But there’s not always a practical solution.”

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