Dutch weapon exports 'break EU rules'

Dutchnews.nl, 11 November 2009. The Netherlands approved the export of arms to several countries involved in armed conflict or where there are serious human rights breaches, against EU rules, says the Campaign against the Arms Trade in a new report.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Jemen are among the countries buying Dutch arms, the report says. Saudi Arabia, for example, bought €2m-worth of weaponry.

Dutch companies also exported a large amount of night-vision equipment to India, Morocco, Thailand and China and a radar system to the Libyan army.

In addition, the Dutch authorities do not take action when large shipments of arms are uncovered at Rotterdam port or Schiphol airport, the organisation said. In one case, a mass shipment of American munitions was allowed on to Georgia, just weeks before the war against Russia broke out, the report said.

In total, the government licenced arms exports with a value of €1.3bn last year.

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