Greens warn about Australia’s joint exercise with Saudi navy near Yemen

Greens warn about Australia’s joint exercise with Saudi navy near Yemen:

Whish-Wilson says operation was planned rather than occurring ‘opportunistically’ as Marise Payne has described

A controversial Australian naval exercise conducted with Saudi Arabia’s navy in the midst of the blockade of Yemen may be the beginning of more joint exercises between the two militaries, the Greens have warned.

Documents relating to a joint training exercise conducted on 14 August linked to Operation Manitou, a longstanding joint military operation in the Middle East, show the exercise was planned rather than occurring “opportunistically”, as Australia’s defence minister had claimed, the Greens say.

The Royal Australian Navy held training exercises with its Saudi Arabian counterpart near where a Saudi-led coalition is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen – a move criticised by Human Rights Watch and other aid groups.

With the humanitarian catastrophe escalating in Yemen, world leaders, including the US president, Donald Trump, have called for the blockade to be lifted.

The United Nations has described the closure of aid channels as “catastrophic”.

H/t reader kevin a.

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