Scottish Greens call on Boris Johnson to cancel Saudi visit

The Scottish Greens have called on Boris Johnson to 'stop cosying up to' the Saudi Arabian regime and cancel the visit he is reportedly making this week. On Saturday the Saudi regime executed 81 people.

Saturday 26th March will mark seven years since Saudi-led forces began a vicious bombing campaign in Yemen. The war has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with UNICEF putting the direct and indirect death total from the war at 377,000. Saudi-led forces have dropped bombs, often made in the UK, on targets including hospitals, schools and funerals.

Scottish Greens external affairs spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP, said:

"Saudi Arabia is run by one of the most brutal and authoritarian dictatorships in the world. Eighty-one executions in a single day, most believed to have been by beheading, prove that brutality is not fading.

“For Boris Johnson to visit so soon after these executions would be shocking but not surprising. Whether it is the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi or the humanitarian crisis that Saudi forces have inflicted on Yemen, the UK government have been happy to overlook Saudi atrocities as long as the oil keeps flowing and the arms sales keep coming.

“Right now UK-trained Saudi pilots are using UK-made fighter jets to drop UK-made bombs on the people of Yemen. This war has endured for seven long and painful years and the Prime Minister and his colleagues have been utterly complicit in the horrors it has unleashed. Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result and yet UK arms sales and military support to the Saudi regime continue.

“If this visit goes ahead it will be treated as a propaganda victory for the Saudi royal family. If Boris Johnson cares about the rights and lives of people in Saudi Arabia and Yemen then it's time for him to end the arms sales, stop cosying up to the regime and cancel this disgraceful visit."