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Parliamentary questions
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21 May 2021
Question for written answer  E-002743/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (NI), Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: On arms exports and military training from Spain to Saudi Arabia

Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP stipulates that Member States must deny an export licence if there is a clear risk that the military equipment might be used in the commission of violations of international humanitarian law. Member States must also first consult other Member States that have denied identical arms exports in the past three years.

Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen is causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(1) . Violations of international humanitarian law have been widespread(2) since the beginning of the conflict. This has led to several Member States blocking arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

On 13 May 2021 it was revealed(3) that Spain has provided army facilities to two private contractors for the purpose of training Saudi military units in the use of weapons that these undertakings are selling to Saudi Arabia with the approval of the Spanish Government, which hid(4) this information from the Spanish Parliament. Most Saudi soldiers that have undergone training there are deployed to the war in Yemen.

1. Is the Commission aware of this?

2. Does it know whether Spain consulted those Member States which have blocked arms exports to Saudi Arabia prior to granting arms exports to this country?

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