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Arab League to boycott UK Labour conference over Saudi Arabia ban

Activists have called for an arms ban on Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 September, 2017

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Arab leaders and diplomats will boycott the UK Labour conference later this month, after Jeremy Corbyn's party barred the Saudi and Sudanese ambassadors.
The Arab League is boycotting the upcoming Labour conference due to the UK party's ban on the Saudi and Sudanese ambassadors from attending the event planned later this month.

Jeremy Corbyn's party said representatives of the Saudi government would not be welcomed to the conference due to the country's war in Yemen.

"Following evidence of war crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in its bombing campaign in Yemen and other large scale human rights abuses, the NEC agreed that the embassy’s application to attend the Labour Party conference would not be accepted," a Labour spokesperson told The Sun.

The decision has led to the Arab League to announce a boycott of the event.

"Our council has decided to refrain from attending the Labour Party conference this year due to the rejection of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's and the Republic of Sudan's applications to attend the conference," the statement read.

The Arab League also told Labour MPs that they would cancel plans to attend the conference talks and dinner due on Sunday.

Jeremy Corbyn has been highly critical of the war in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The war has cost over 10,000 lives and has threatened to bring large-scale starvation to Yemen.

The Labour leader has said the UK should halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to the war.

"We are selling arms to Saudi Arabia... and at the same time we are sending aid in, we should not be doing both," he said this week.

Corbyn has also rejected calls from an ally for women-only tube carriages with critics saying the idea stems from Saudi Arabia.

"If you take your feminist cues from Saudi Arabia you've gone wrong," Jess Philips, Labour MP said.

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