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UK should impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia: Labour Party

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The opposition Labour Party in the UK says the conservative-led government should consider imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia over its alleged role in the murder and disappearance of a prominent critic and journalist.

John McDonnell, the second in command of Labour and its finance spokesman, said on Wednesday that London should have plans for slapping Riyadh with sanctions if it failed to answer questions about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in the Kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.

“If we are not getting the legitimate answers that you would expect, we have got to be one of those countries … that leads in the reaction to it,” said McDonnell while speaking to reporters in the parliament.

Khashoggi has been unaccounted for since he entered the Saudi diplomatic mission in Istanbul on October 2 to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish police believes the journalist, who had been living in exile in the United States since last year, was killed inside the Saudi consulate and his body was removed. Riyadh has denied the allegations.

The Labour had earlier criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to Khashoggi’s case.

The Party said earlier this week that it would impose a ban on arms sale to Saudi Arabia if it was in power. Sources in May’s government have said that a ban on Saudi arms sale would enable rivals like Russia and china to fill the gap.

McDonnell said sanctions on Saudi Arabia should go beyond mere diplomatic measures and the kingdom should be punished economically. He said that Saudi Arabia should feel the tide because of the special relationship it has with London.

“That (our response) does mean, yes, diplomatic isolation but it also means economic sanctions,” said McDonnell.

Britain is a major arms supplier to Saudi Arabia as its companies have managed to sign contracts worth of billions of dollars over the past years to sell weapons to kingdom.

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