Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Gavin Mendel-Gleason

The Workers’ Party have called for all state and semi-state companies to withdraw investments from Saudi Arabia. The call comes as the United Nations warned that 14 million people face starvation due to the Saudi-led bombing and embargo in Yemen.

Workers’ Party representative in Cabra-Finglas, Gavin Mendel-Gleason, said:

“It has come to my attention that the “Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council” includes at least four state companies as members, including the Dublin Airport Authority, ESB International, VHI International and Enterprise Ireland.

“The organisation has as its objective to increase Irish investment in Saudi Arabia. In line with this, Dublin Airport Authority, a company wholly-owned by the state, in 2016 won a contract to operate the newest terminal in Saudi Arabia’s main airport.”

Mendel-Gleason continued:

“Saudi Arabia is engaged in waging a brutal war against Yemeni citizens. They have attacked the country more than 15,000 times in three years, and because of Saudi embargoes more than 14 million people face starvation.

“Humanitarian workers forecast that the famine in Yemen will be one of the most extensive of the past 100 years. And yet Saudi Arabia faces no punishment or repercussions for their actions, simply because they are considered to be a “good ally” of the US and EU.”

Mendel-Gleason concluded:

“The deafening silence of the ‘international community’ in relation to Saudi Arabia’s atrocities shows up the hollow cynicism of humanitarian interventionism. EU and US leaders – including our Irish government – justified an invasion in Iraq on ‘human rights’ grounds, but turn a blind eye to the very real possibility of 14 million Yemeni citizens starving.

“The Irish government must take real action to challenge Saudi Arabia. This means divesting all state-owned companies from business activity in Saudi Arabia.”