Norway suspends arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war

Norway suspends arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war
Saudi Arabia faces further backlash from European countries after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
2 min read
09 November, 2018
Norway Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide announced the halt to arms exports [Getty]
Norway became the latest country to announce it was suspending arms exports to Saudi Arabia, following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Riyadh's ongoing war in Yemen.

Norway's foreign minister said on Friday that his government was suspending the issuing of new licenses for export defence-related equipment to Saudi Arabia due to the war in Yemen.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide told Norwegian news agency NTB on Friday that the move was temporary until "a comprehensive assessment of recent developments in Saudi Arabia and the region and the unsettling situation in Yemen" is completed.

Yemen has experienced a devastating civil war, which has led to the deaths of as many of 50,000 people and pushed the country to the brink of nation-wide famine.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab coalition that is supporting the international-recognised government, but its air campaign has cost the lives of thousands of civilians.

Aid agencies said a recent government offensive on the port city of Hodeida - where 80 percent of the country's food and aid supplies pass through - which aid agencies have warned could trigger a major humanitarian disaster.

NTB said exports of defense-related equipment -so-called B-material - in 2017 to Saudi Arabia was worth 41 million kroner ($4.9 billion), a massive increase from 2016 when it was 23,000 kroner ($2,750).

Riyadh has also faced criticism for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Switzerland and Germany have also announced they would halt defence exports to Saudi Arabia following the killing of the journalist.