Under the leadership of long-time anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom’s social democratic party, the UK Labour Party, promised Friday to suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia should they be elected during the June 8 elections.
It will be a return to an "ethical foreign policy," the shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said, the Middle East Eye reported.
The move would be a shift, indeed, given the Labour Party's history of being mired in imperialist wars, most notably the Iraq War under the leadership of former Prime Minister and war criminal Tony Blair.
Writing in the Guardian, Thornberry stated the party would return to a more human rights-focused "Cook doctrine," making a reference to the party's former foreign secretary Robin Cook, who resigned in 2003 over the Iraq war.
"We will strive to reduce not increase global tensions, and give new momentum to talks on non-proliferation and disarmament," Thornberry wrote.
The Labour Party would also demand an independent UN investigation into war crimes in Yemen.
The Conservative government, she said, had armed "the Saudi planes that have killed thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen."
A Labour government would also, she added, "review all training and equipment contracts with Bahrain and other repressive regimes, to ensure that Britain is not colluding — however inadvertently — in the mistreatment of civilians."
The Labour party has also alluded to suspending British involvement in airstrikes against Syria.
The incumbent Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has so far done the exact opposite and will likely to continue that path, Thornberry explained. That foreign policy, should she be re-elected June 8, will see escalated military action against Syria and the continuation of the funding and arming of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led campaign of war against Yemen.
On Friday, Corbyn is expected to set out the party's foreign policy in a major speech, according to the Guardian.
"No more hand-holding with Donald Trump; a Labour government will conduct a robust and independent foreign policy made in London," Corbyn is expected to say, The Middle East Eye reported.
While Corbyn enjoys the support of many leftists in the UK, some are cautious of his proposed policies, such as that of increasing police presence in the country. Others are also critical of his past, citing examples such as when he gave Labour Party MPs a free pass to vote on bombing Syria.
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