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Charity disturbed by Saudi military training over Ronaldsway

Wed, 15 May 2019

A Manx charity says the use of Ronaldsway Airport by Royal Saudi Airforce pilots for training with the RAF is ‘highly disturbing’.
A letter published by the Celtic League, sent from the Ministry of Defence, confirms that Manx air space is used by personnel at the RAF Valley airbase on Anglesey in Wales.
The MoD states international trainee pilots use the airport and others to practise ‘visual approaches and departures’ with their British colleagues.
In response to a call by the Celtic League to bar Saudi military pilots from training at Ronaldsway, Chief Minister Howard Quayle said it’s a matter for the UK government, as the Isle of Man has no responsibility for matters of defence or international relations.
Chairman of the One World Centre Phil Craine says ‘it rubs salt in the wounds’ to find that whilst the charity was fundraising for the DEC Yemen Appeal, Saudi pilots could’ve been training overhead.
He accepts the Chief Minister is in a ‘difficult position’ to take action, but says at the very least Tynwald could voice its concern.
The Manx Government had contributed more than £190,000 to the DEC Yemen Appeal , but Mr Craine says this latest development ‘leaves a bad taste’:
“Yes emergency relief aid is welcome, but we have to do all in our power to prevent the suffering in the first place”.
The One World Centre chairman has been speaking to Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne:


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