News   /   Interviews

Arms sale to Saudis, big business in UK, US: Pundit

Yemeni men walk amid the ruins of a building in Yemen's capital Sana’a on August 29, 2016, after it was hit by a Saudi airstrike. (AFP photo)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Lawrence Davidson, lecturer at West Chester University, about British Prime Minister Theresa May defending selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which is accused of committing war crimes in Yemen.

Here is a rough transcription of the interview:

Press TV: How exactly does assisting Riyadh with destroying Yemeni infrastructure and killing Yemeni civilians keep Britons safe at home? Please clarify that.

Davidson: I am afraid I cannot clarify that because I do not understand the logic that the prime minister is actually using here. What close relationship with Saudi Arabia does  is of course help keep oil prices somewhat stable and that is I guess a way of interpreting a need of England that it would be safe from very high oil prices but there is no logic to that claim that it is going to keep English men and women physically safe.

The Saudis are at the heart of the attempt to destabilize the Assad regime and for many years there probably was an unofficial connection between the Saudi government and ISIS (Daesh) that probably broke down at some point because they are ideological competitors, if you will, in the camp of ‘extreme Islam’ but the Saudis have shifted their support to al-Nusra and some other groups but they allow, I believe, private funds to come out of Saudi Arabia to help ISIS but in any case there is nothing about arming the Saudis that are going to translate into safer people in England. It is not just logical.

Press TV: And your thoughts on London and its complicity in supplying the Saudis with arms when they know it has been very well documented that it is resulting in disproportionate amount of residential areas, residential infrastructures, civilian lives being taken in Yemen, and London knows this and it continues to arm the Saudis?

Davidson: Well it is a violation certainly of international law and elements of the Geneva Accords but this is very big business both in the United States and in England and in France. Arms sale is a major, major aspect of the economy and therefore the employment and so it would be difficult economically to stop arming the Saudis because they consume so much of the weapons that are produced.

I mean in the United States, I do not know about England, but in the United States everyone [talks] about the Saudis [buying] 60 billion dollars worth of weapons. They do not even need them but they buy them just to maintain leverage on the US economy, and I imagine they do something like that in England, so you have got a very, very significant economic aspect, or a very big aspect of the economy wrapped up in these kinds of sales and the Saudis are major buyers.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku