European lawmakers have called for an approval of arms embargo against Saudi Arabia citing its involvement in the ongoing war in Yemen.
A petition signed by over 750,000 European citizens asking for an end to weapons sales to Riyadh follows the European Parliament’s resolution, Reuters reported Thursday.
The resolution would not be legally binding, but officials hope that it would dissuade countries like Britain and France, who are the two main European exporters of arms to Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, Germany announced it would look harder at its decision to export arms to Saudi Arabia.
"This is about Yemen. The human rights violations have reached a level that means Europe is obliged to act and to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia," said British lawmaker Richard Howitt, according to Reuters report.
Riyadh buys most of its weapons from the United States, and the EU-wide embargo would go against Washington's policy of aiding the Sunni Arabs in the fight to help the internationally recognized government retake swathes of territory back from the rebel and al Qaeda factions that have divvied up the country.
Some EU officials also warned that an embargo could trigger a backlash from Riyadh. Howitt, for instance, said the Saudis had threatened to cut off relations with the EU in response.