Labour Party v/s Arab League

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Corbyn urges govt to stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, bars Saudi and Sudanese delegations from attending  its annual conference, Arab League cancels reception

LONDON: A ‘tit for tat’ situation has been developed between Labour Party and the Arab League. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the Government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, arguing they are being used in Yemen’s civil war. “We are selling arms to Saudi Arabia… and at the same time we are sending aid in, we should not be doing both,” he told the BBC’s World at One programme.

Mr Corbyn went on to say it was important to ensure there is “a political process to bring about a ceasefire” in Yemen. The Saudis immediately ordered the Arab League not to attend the conference. The decision by the Labour Party has been praised by human rights and anti-war activists. It is seen as a new ethical foreign policy in line with British democratic values.

In another development, Labour Party has barred Saudi Arabia and Sudan from attending its conference – biggest ever – in Brighton that will start from next Sunday. This is in protest at the continuing aggression on Yemen which has killed thousands of women and children.

In response, Arab ambassadors have cancelled their reception at Labour party conference after Saudi and Sudanese representatives were seemingly barred from attending.

The London office of the League of Arab States wrote to all MPs and peers on Thursday to tell them the event – due to be hosted by the Council of Arab Ambassadors at the conference in Brighton next week – was no longer happening.

In the letter, the organisation said it had taken the decision to cancel its reception and buffet dinner, which is held annually, and would not be going to the conference at all “due to the rejection of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s and the Republic of Sudan’s applications to attend”.

A spokesperson for the party told HuffPost: “Following evidence of war crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in its bombing campaign in Yemen and other large scale human rights abuses, the NEC agreed that the embassy’s application to attend the Labour Party conference would not be accepted.”

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Lord Nazir Ahmed has written to Jeremy Corbyn two weeks ago and asked him to consider banning the Ambassador of Myanmar for the ethnic cleansing and Genocide against Rohingya community and the Indian High Commissioner for what he called the crime against Kashmiri and Sikh people.

Mr. Corbyn office acknowledged his letter by phone but asked for longer time to answer as he is busy, the sources said.