Arms sales - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (13.05.19)

Q : The minister said yesterday on the subject of arms sales to the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, “If these weapons were to be used against civilians, that would be a breach of the Saudis’ commitments to us” NGOs are stressing the fact that French weapons are being used in this war. Are you prepared to launch an independent investigation to shed light on this debate and bring an end to it?

A : As the minister said, we fully comply with our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). We respect the common European position on the subject, which includes provisions relating to international humanitarian law. We have an extremely demanding procedure for each sale of weapons abroad, and it includes a very strict specialized committee. Transfers are prohibited in particular when there is a risk that weapons be used for attacks on civilians. France’s weapons exports are the subject of annual reports to Parliament, which are accessible to the public.

France fully backs the efforts of the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) and mediation efforts by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, with whom the minister met on April 10. It is monitoring changes on the ground, and particularly the start of the implementation of the redeployment operations provided under the Stockholm agreement of December 13, under UN supervision.