Days after Germany announced a freeze on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and urged other European Union members to do the same in view of the Khashoggi murder; Spain, Sweden, UK and France refused to block arms delivery to Riyadh.
The Spanish Parliament voted against a proposal blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia Tuesday, according to El Nacional newspaper. The proposal to stop the sales over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul; was introduced by a mixed group that included deputies, but was rejected by a joint vote by the ruling Socialists and the opposition People's Party.
Antonio Gutiérrez Limones, a Socialist Party MP, asked for "prudence and to wait to find out the facts" before making such a decision, El Nacional reports."Spain is a country which meets its international commitments; the decisions taken should be collective, in the headquarters of the European Union," Gutiérrez Limones argued.
Spain had earlier backed down from a proposal to block a sale of 400 laser-guided bombs over Saudi Arabia’s war against the impoverished country of Yemen as Riyadh had threatened to cancel a $2 billion warship contract if the bombs sale was halted.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also announced his decision not to stop Sweden's arms sales to Saudi Arabia Tuesday over the ongoing Khashoggi scandal.
France and the UK, which are considered Riyadh's two biggest suppliers, have also declined to cut arms sales so far. Germany, the fourth-biggest exporter of weapons to Saudi Arabia, however, announced Sunday that it would halt its arms sales to the kingdom.
European countries have current and ongoing projects in Saudi worth an estimated $50 billion including fighter jets, warships, armored vehicles and missiles.