Dutch lawmakers called on their government to ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over the kingdom’s violations of humanitarian law, making the Netherlands the first country in the European Union (EU) to follow through on a motion by the European Parliament in February.
The landmark resolution, approved on Tuesday, asks the Dutch government to impose a full arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, including dual-use exports that could be used to violate human rights. The bill cites United Nations figures that Saudi-led troops have killed nearly 6,000 people in Yemen—half of them civilians.
The bill also noted the Saudi government’s ongoing executions of its own citizens, many of them political dissidents.
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The parliamentary vote puts additional pressure on other EU governments, such as Britain and France—Saudi Arabia’s core suppliers of weapons, in addition to the U.S.—to enact a similar ban. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), the UK has sold about $9.4 billion (£6.7 billion) in weapons to the Saudi government under Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration.