MPs set to meet UAE official despite damning UN report
MPs are set to privately meet with the UAE’s foreign minister only days after the United Nations condemned the UAE’s human rights record in Yemen.
In a confidential email shown to the New Statesman the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Sulaiman Almazroul invited MPs and peers to a private gathering with the UAE’s foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan.
The invitation comes in the same week as the UN released a damning report implicating the UAE in human rights violations and possible war crimes in Yemen.
The report accused the UAE and Saudi Arabia of killing thousands of civilians through indiscriminate airstrikes targeting public spaces, such as residential areas, markets, weddings, funerals and medical facilities. Much of the weapons responsible for these attacks are supplied by the UK government and its allies. The report alleged further that UAE armed forces were responsible for widespread practices of arbitrary detention, torture and rape in Emirati-controlled prisons across the country.
The private meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan is sponsored by David Jones MP, the chairman of the UAE All Party Parliamentary Group. Jones, a former Conservative cabinet minister, in known to have very close ties to the UAE. In February this year he and other members of the All Party Parliamentary Group travelled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, a trip fully sponsored by the UAE’s ministry of foreign affairs, according to the House of Commons Register of Interests.
In an article Jones wrote for The National, a UAE state owned newspaper, after his return from the UAE, he stated that “There is no more obvious partner [for Britain] than the United Arab Emirates.”
In light of the recent UN report, ICFUAE call upon the UK government to urgently reconsider its relationship with the UAE. As a principal supplier of arms and ammunitions to the Saudi-led coalition, it must begin to accept responsibility for the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.