Norway suspends arms sales to UAE over Yemen war

A boy walks on the wreckage of a building hit by air strikes two years ago in Sanaa, Yemen December 30, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Thomson Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway has suspended exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates over concerns they could be used in the war in Yemen, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition formed in 2015 to fight the Iran-aligned Houthi group that controls most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa, in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.

While there is currently no evidence that Norwegian-made ammunition has been used in Yemen, there was a rising risk related to the UAE's military involvement there, the ministry said.

Existing export permits had been temporarily revoked and no new licenses would be issued under the current circumstances, Norway said.

In 2016, Norwegian exports of weapons and ammunition to the UAE rose to 79 million Norwegian crowns ($9.7 million) from 41 million in 2015, Statistics Norway data showed.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by John Stonestreet)

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