Major coverage of Greek-Saudi arms deal by Al Jazeera

Major coverage of Greek-Saudi arms deal by Al Jazeera
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The Qatari based Al Jazeera international news organisation, the closure of which was demanded by Saudi Arabia, has provided extensive print and video coverage of the backlash from the abortive Greek-Saudi munitions deal.

In an episode of its video news programme “Inside Story”, the Al Jazeera network presented a story entitled “How is the global weapons trade regulated?” which focused on the inter-state munitions deal.

That was accompanied by an extremely lengthy print expose entitled, “Anger over Greek plan to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia”.

The reports highlight the domestic Greek political dispute over the deal, noting that the Tsipras –Kammenos ruling coalition is accused of not following proper procedures, and that the opposition parties accuse Defense Minister Panos Kammenos of illegally employing a middleman to negotiate the deal with the Saudis.

Inside Story interviewed the director of Amnesty International Greece, Gabriel Sakkelaridis, once one of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ closest confidants.

Sakellaridis avoided mention of the scandal charges and focused on the humanitarian issues surrounding the sale.

The programme also interviewed Campaign Against Arms Trade spokesman Andrew Smith, and Pieter D. Wezeman, a Senior Researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.

Sakellaridis underlined that Amnesty International formally called for the munitions sale to be canceled, as one cannot guarantee that the weapons would not be used in Yemen.

Wezeman stated that the Saudis normally purchase state of the art weapons technology. He suggested that the materiel was likely intended to be sent either to Yemen or to Syria.

Al Jazeera reporter Patrick Strickland, in the report entitled “Anger over Greek plan to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia”, focuse on the political backlash in Greece and international calls to cancel the deal.





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