Dutch FM to defend arms embargo to Saudi Arabia at UNSC

Netherlands has limited contribution in arms embargo matter, says Stef Blok

Dutch FM to defend arms embargo to Saudi Arabia at UNSC

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said Thursday he will defend an arms embargo to Saudi Arabia at the UN Security Council.

A majority of the House of Representatives has called on the government of the Netherlands to introduce resolutions of a "ceasefire in Yemen" and "arms embargo against Saudi Arabia".

Noting that he will defend the arms embargo in the UN Security Council, Blok added that it would not go that far since the Netherlands has "a limited contribution in this matter."

Blok said the Netherlands is a not big exporter of weapons, stressing that “countries such as France, the U.S. and the U.K., which are major arms exporters, do not want to apply the arms embargo."

He also said the Dutch government would like to take further steps on Yemen, but "big countries" are not willing to do so.

Blok pointed out that he would like to stick to the "limited arms export system" implemented by the Netherlands toward Saudi Arabia.

"The situation in Yemen is horrific and dramatic," Blok said.

He noted that he would rather like to defend in the UN Security Council the cease-fire and humanitarian aid in Yemen, adding that: "Those who cause it are committing a terrible crime."

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.