MOD quizzed on Saudi defence links which tie Isle of Man to pilot training

The Celtic League has written to UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace asking about formal ‘defence’ links with Saudi Arabia which allow pilots of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) using RAF Valley to access the Isle of Man (IOM) commercial airport at Ronaldsway.

The RSAF is engaged in a ruthless terror bombing campaign against Yemen in which schools, hospitals and clinics have been hit, killing and injuring many thousands of men, women and children. Just five days ago four children were killed and two seriously injured when the RSAF dropped illegal cluster bombs on a village in Ma’rib province.

The League has had correspondence with the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in the past twelve months on the matter. While the MoJ clarified what they see as the ‘defence links’ between the Isle of Man and the UK they would not commit to comment on the Saudi connection suggesting an approach be made to the MOD. This has now been done (see below).

“Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP
Secretary of State for Defence
MOD, Main Building
Whitehall
Westminster
London

31st July 2020

Dear Minister,

I refer to recent correspondence with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in relation to Isle of Man – United Kingdom Defence issues and specifically the ‘defence relationship’ by which the RAF based at Valley in Anglesey use the IOM commercial airport at Ronaldsway for training. Our query specifically related to Saudi aircrew and those in other Gulf States engaged in the bombing campaign against civilians in Yemen.

While the MoJ clarified our substantive point they would not respond to our query about any ‘formal defence links’ between the UK and Saudi Arabia. They suggested I contact you.

I enclose a copy of their final letter for convenience. The relevant section is the last paragraph.

Trusting you can clarify the exact formal Defence link with Saudi Arabia which enables RSAF training at Valley to utilise arrangements between the IOM and the UK in respect of ‘defence’.

Yours faithfully,

J B Mofffatt (Mr)

Assistant General Secretary”

Image: IOM Airport Ronaldsway – Insets (Left) Minister Ben Wallace (Right) RAF Valley, Anglesey.

Bernard Moffatt
Celtic League (31st July 2020)

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