With growing international backlash against Saudi Arabia, and increased
tension between the Saudis and Canada, Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau
has confirmed for the first time on Sunday that his government is openly looking for a way out of a $13 billion arms deal reached with the Saudis.
Trudeau has previously said that the penalties for scrapping the deal
would be too high, but now says he’s looking at a possible freezing of
export permits, which could be done if the weapons are being misused.
The arms company in question, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, has
issued a statement condemning the effort, and saying that there would be
huge liabilities for terminating the contract, adding it would damage Canada’s defense sector in general to not sell arms to the Saudis.
The deal is for light armored vehicles, and was reached by the Harper
government in 2014. Trudeau’s government had previously endorsed it,
though mounting anger over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, as well as war
crimes in Yemen, have Trudeau facing growing calls from allies and
opponents to stake out a different position.
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