ALEX Salmond has called on the UK Government to end its “obsession” with military intervention and adopt a more ethical foreign policy focused on humanitarian and political efforts.

In his own New Year message, the former First Minister called on Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to use 2017 to correct the error of their ways and adopt a wider strategy than “knee-jerk militarism”.

Mr Salmond, the SNP’s international affairs spokesman, said 2016 had seen a bloody end to the year with conflicts in Syria and Yemen continuing to rage and engulf the region, resulting in humanitarian disasters and a refugee crisis in both countries.

He emphasised how the UK Government had played a military role in both conflicts, providing arms to the Saudi Arabian regime, advising on military targets in Yemen and participating in coalition airstrikes in Syria.

The Gordon MP also pointed out how:

*the Nationalists had consistently opposed the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia and had called for an independent inquiry into any breaches of humanitarian law;

*had condemned the UK Government outright for its "shamefully-stained Saudi" relationship after reports emerged that outlawed UK-made cluster bombs had been used on targets in Yemen and

*all SNP MPs voted against air strikes in Syria, demanding the UK Government establish an effective plan to defeat the so-called Islamic State and put humanitarian assistance to the forefront of its wider strategy.

“The New Year is not one of celebration for many people in countries like Syria and Yemen where the horrors of 2016 will continue into 2017,” said Mr Salmond.

“For the UK Government, the New Year should be one of recognising and correcting the errors in their foreign policy approach and one where they adopt a more ethical and effective approach that abandons military obsession and instead puts humanitarian and political efforts at its core. After all, we know that the Foreign Secretary actually personally believes that our allies are engaged in proxy wars.”

He went on: “You cannot arm regimes with stained military tactics with one hand and then raise the other to proclaim the need to uphold human rights. The lessons are clear for all in the last year, from the lessons of Libya to Yemen and Syria.”

The former party leader added: “The SNP have consistently called for a wider strategy rather than knee-jerk militarism and we will continue to hold the Tory government to account on these crucial issues.”