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Plaid Cymru calls on Welsh Government to stop funding company selling weapons to Saudi Arabia

13 Nov 2018 2 minute read
Adam Price speaking in the Senedd

The Welsh Government has contributed to a £1m investment to a company whose weapons have been used in bombings in Yemen, Plaid Cymru said today.

According to CNN, Raytheon’s weapons have been used in the targeted bombings of civilians in Yemen by Saudi Arabia.

The Welsh Government and US defence firm Raytheon had invested £1m in a site in Deeside which maintains RAF spy planes.

The leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price AM, today raised the issue during First Minister’s Questions.

“First Minister, are you content that the RAF are training Saudi Arabian pilots at RAF Valley on Ynys Mon, teaching the techniques that can be used in the conflict in Yemen?” he asked.

“Thousands of people have died in the Yemeni conflict, many of them civilians and many of them children.

“Information from the US Department of Defence confirms that Raytheon’s Welsh operations are being directly and substantially involved in delivering hundreds more air to ground missiles to the Saudi Arabian military.

“That $300m dollar deal incidentally was signed a week after the CEO of Raytheon flew to Riyadh to lobby Muhammad bin Sulman, on whose instruction Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly murdered.”

Adam Price asked the First Minister not to commit any more funding to a company “involved in the supply of weapons to this murderous barbaric regime”.

“Are you prepared to promise that no Welsh Government money will go to a company which is directly supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia while this bloody conflict continues?”

The First Minister said he that the leader of Plaid Cymru has raised “an important issue”.

“It’s not clear what the involvement of the Raytheon plant in Deeside is with regard to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“I will, however, find out, and I will write to him once I’ve established what the connection is. Upon seeing the results of that investigation, I will then, of course, respond fully to the points that he’s raised.”

Last week it was also revealed that the RAF are training Saudi Arabian military pilots in Yemen, in response to a question in the Westminster Parliament by Jonathan Edwards MP.

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