COPENHAGEN – The Norwegian government announced on Wednesday it would no longer be selling arms to the United Arab Emirates as they were possibly being used in the war in Yemen, where the UAE has been fighting as part of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.
Norway’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that there was a growing risk linked to the UAE’s military participation in the war, but insisted that there was no evidence that Norwegian weapons had been used in Yemen, meaning the suspension was a preventative measure.
“The development of the armed conflict in Yemen in the autumn of 2017 has been serious and there is great concern about the humanitarian situation,” read the statement.
In 2016, Norway sold arms and ammunition to the UAE for 100 million kroner ($12.3 million).
Saudi Arabia, which is excluded from Norwegian weapons exports, leads a coalition alongside the UAE that has since 2015 led a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels and backed President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is exiled in Riyadh.
The World Health Organization, Unicef and the World Food Program recently said that the conflict in Yemen had become a humanitarian crisis and around 75 percent of the population was in need of help.