France’s foreign minister on Tuesday sidestepped questions on whether his country should end weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because they were being used in Yemen, saying that Iran also had “lots” of weapons there.

The kingdom is leading a coalition formed in 2015 to fight the Iran-aligned Houthi group that controls most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa, in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than three million.

The French administration under President Emmanuel Macron has drawn criticism in particular from rights groups over its support of the kingdom’s actions and allowing weapons it has sold to Riyadh potentially to be used in its Yemen operations.

When asked specifically why France continued to sell weapons to Saudi and the Emirates in the current context, Jean-Yves Le Drian skirted the issue and said the priority was to find a political solution to the Yemen crisis.

“I’m really worried by the situation in Yemen,” Le Drian told parliament’s foreign affairs committee. “It’s an absurd war. It’s true that there are Saudi weapons, but would you believe it there are Iranian weapons too, lots (of them).”

Source » channelnewsasia