The new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party criticised Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Tuesday for repressing their own citizens and called on Prime Minister David Cameron to stop his “uncritical support” for such countries.
Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing leader who many in his own party say will never win power, praised the nuclear deal with Iran and cautioned that the crisis in Syria could not be solved with “a few more bombs”. Corbyn particularly singled out Saudi Arabia for criticism.
“Nor does it help our national security to give such fawning and uncritical support to regimes, I mention only two but there are many I could mention such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain,” Corbyn told Labour supporters in Brighton.
He said the kingdoms of Saudi and Bahrain “abuse their own citizens and repress democratic rights” and that British weapons were being used “on the assault on Yemen”.
Corbyn, who has in the past met with representatives of Palestinian militant group Hamas and Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, called on Cameron to raise the case of Ali Al Nimr who was given the death penalty after taking part in demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province.
Corbyn also said he opposed renewing spending 100 billion pounds ($150 billion) on renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent. He also said he wanted a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria. Arabian Business