NEWS

Authenticity of Saudi arms deal docs questioned

TAGS: Politics, Defense

After casting doubt on the authenticity of the documents Defense Minister Panos Kammenos submitted to Parliament on Monday that supposedly prove Vassilis Papadopoulos was authorized by Saudi Arabia to broker a deal for Greece to sell it arms and missiles, New Democracy on Thursday accused the Independent Greeks leader of breaking the law and deception.

In a press conference, conservative lawmakers Makis Voridis and Nikos Panayiotopoulos said that the broker was described in the documents as an “exporting entity.” A person who supposedly represents Saudi Arabia cannot export to it as well, they said.

Citing a series of other shortcomings of the documents that cast suspicion on their authenticity, Voridis said that Kammenos “lied.” “Is he now using forged documents?” Voridis asked.

On Wednesday New Democracy requested that the stalled sale of ammunition to Saudi Arabia be examined by a second parliamentary committee to examine the attempt to sell 300,000 anti-tank shells to the Saudis as the government pondered whether to cancel the contract.

Meanwhile, European Parliament lawmakers on Thursday adopted a resolution by 539 votes to 13, with 81 abstentions, condemning the ongoing violence in Yemen and urging EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to impose an European Union arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, given the serious allegations that the Gulf state is breaching international humanitarian law.

The decision is expected to put more pressure on the leftist-led government in Athens, which has come under fire from the opposition but also from within its own ranks. Several high-ranking officials within the ruling party have called for the cancellation of the agreement on the grounds that the missiles in question could be used in Yemen.

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