Denmark to suspend arms exports to United Arab Emirates

UAE blacklisted along with Saudi Arabia over Yemen conflict

The Foreign Ministry has revealed that Denmark will no longer export arms to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the ministry has asked the Rigspolitiet state police to withdraw export permits that have already been approved.

The move comes as a result of the UAE’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen, according to the foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen. Amnesty International has applauded the decision.

“It’s very positive news. Denmark shouldn’t be exporting weapons to a country that is involved in a conflict where violence abuse and probable war crimes against the civilian population are taking place,” Trine Christensen, the secretary general of Amnesty International Denmark, told Information newspaper.

The decision comes on the heels of a similar suspension of arms exports to Saudi Arabia in November last year, due to Saudi involvement in the same conflict and in the wake of the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

The UAE is Saudi Arabia’s ally in the conflict in Yemen and the Saudis have been accused of committing war crimes.

READ MORE: Denmark suspends export of weapons to Saudi Arabia 

Big business
Over the past five years, Danish companies have exported arms and military equipment to the UAE  to the tune of over 210 million kroner.

The national confederation for industry, Dansk Industri (DI), said that they respect the decision of the government, but contend that withdrawing previously-approved permits is a problematic step.

“These are companies that have invested in raw materials, employed people and have contracts with foreign clients that they can no longer adhere to. This is a serious issue,” Frank Bill, the head of defence and security policy at DI, told Information.