Members of the Green League and Left Alliance have commended the government for suspending the granting of arms export permits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Thursday announced that the granting of export permits to the two countries has been suspended particularly on grounds of the disconcerting humanitarian situation in Yemen.
“Finally!” Emma Kari (Greens) exclaimed on Twitter.
“It’s great that the government has rectified its position and announced today that no new arms export permits will be granted to countries waging war in Yemen,” added Hanna Sarkkinen (Left Alliance).
Both Kari and Sarkkinen brought up the issue also during the question time debate in the Finnish Parliament on Thursday. Sarkkinen, for instance, asked the government repeatedly why the decision does not apply also to existing export permits.
Timo Soini (BR), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, responded by assuring that although the government has yet to make any decisions regarding permits that have already been granted, it will monitor the situation.
“You’ll also have to keep in mind that we have certain contractual penalties and other similar things regarding which we can make decisions. It’s my impression that the latest permits were decided on by the two previous governments, so unfortunately all parliamentary parties were part of granting them,” he said.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) told YLE on Thursday that the decision to halt the granting of arms exports to the two countries was made also due to the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2018.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi