Cameron: Autocracies have a right to self-defenselanguishing, and with the US-made F-22 scrapped, Britain is stepping into the vacuum, marketing its Typhoon fighter jets to countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Some people in Britain are not pleased.
Mr Cameron's candid stance on arms sales - which is unsual for Prime Ministers - was criticised by human rights campaigners. Amnesty International UK's head of policy and government affairs Allan Hogarth said: "Selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE should only be considered if there are absolutely watertight guarantees over them not being used to commit human rights violations.
"Saudi Arabia has been the recipient of record-breaking arms deals involving the UK, yet these have been highly secretive and there's been little or no follow-up over how the weaponry was used."
Amnesty said that in 2009 the Saudi air force used "UK-supplied Tornado fighter-bombers in attacks in Yemen which killed hundreds -possibly thousands - of civilians".
But speaking in Dubai before later visits to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Mr Cameron said: "We have one of the strictest regimes anywhere in the world for sales of defence equipment but we do believe that countries have a right to self-defence.
Of course, if God forbid those planes were used to bomb Israel, Amnesty would be among the first to stand up and cheer.“We do believe countries have a right to defend themselves. And we do believe Britain has important defence industries that employ over 300,000 people and so that sort of business is completely legitimate and right."
What could go wrong?