Elizabeth Truss has been named the UK new foreign secretary as part of a Cabinet reshuffle.
The move was the first Cabinet appointment by Boris Johnson.
The new foreign secretary already has a reputation in foreign policy circles from her time as trade minister.
To date, much of her work with regards to the Middle East has focused on strengthening the UK’s relationship with Israel and the Gulf.
Involved in War Crimes?
However, Truss was behind a decision in July 2020 to resume UK sales to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
At the time she told MPs that there were no violations of international law by Saudi forces in Yemen.
This is despite admitting less than a year earlier that the UK had already broken the ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of countries into a devastating war in Yemen. Now it becomes home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The conflict has so far displaced at least four million people and killed more than 233,000.
The UN published a report that noted that states including the UK were continuing “their support of parties to the conflict.
It further added that “arms sales are fuel that perpetuates the conflict”.
Amnesty International described Truss’s decision to restart arms sales to the Saudis as deeply cynical. The rights group further said her statement on the subject was “alarming”.
“Like others involved with this case, we will be carefully considering this alarming statement from the international trade secretary and considering next steps,” said the organisation’s director Kate Allen, in a statement.