Britain stops arms sales to Egypt

Britain stops arms sales to Egypt
Thu Aug 29, 2013 22:22:54

Britain has suspended 49 military export licenses to Egypt as the North African country remains in turmoil with continuous clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and the Egyptian army.

Britain’s Business Secretary Vince Cable claimed the ban aimed to "to send a clear signal” of the UK’s condemnation of violence in Egypt.

"As a result of the developing situation in Egypt, we have agreed with EU partners in this instance to go further and suspend all export licences for goods which might be used for internal repression," Cable said in a statement.

The suspension, which applies to licences for the Egyptian army, air force and internal security forces, covers items including spares for helicopters and aircraft, communications equipment and specialist software.

This comes after the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a leading British anti-arms trade group, called on London to stop selling arms to Egypt if the government is sincere in its condemnation of the “disproportionate use of force” by Egyptian army.

According to recent Figures, the UK had licensed over £65 million worth of arms exports to the North African country from the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 to the end of March 2013.

Egypt has been the scene of increasing violence since the head of the Egyptian armed forces, General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, overthrew Morsi in early July.

Nearly 1,000 people were killed in a week of violence between Morsi fans and security forces after police attacked their protest camps in a deadly operation on August 14.


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