France suspends sale of arms, tear gas to Egypt

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 5, 2011 21:44

PARIS — France suspended exports of arms and tear gas to Egypt in late January, as an uprising to force the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak mounted, the prime minister's office said Saturday.

The decision to suspend the sale of arms was made at a Jan. 27 meeting, according to an official. The meeting came after a Jan. 25 decision by French customs to suspend all authorizations to export to Egypt equipment to maintain public order, notably explosives products such as tear gas, the official said.

No reason for the decisions was provided by the official who was not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.

France was embarrassed by its own generosity during an uprising in Tunisia, its former colony in North Africa where daily protests pushed the autocratic president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, into exile.


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