UK revokes exports to Egyptian military over unrest

Business secretary says will not grant export licenses where there is clear risk goods used for "internal repression."

July 19, 2013 18:26
Pro-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo

Pro-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Britain withdrew five export licenses to Egypt on Friday, saying it wanted to prevent British goods being used in unrest, which has led to civilian deaths there.

"We will not grant export licenses where we judge there is a clear risk the goods might be used for internal repression, provoke or prolong conflict within a country," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

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He added in a statement that there were no reports of British equipment having been used in the unrest.

The goods covered by the agreements include components for armored fighting infantry vehicles, communication equipment for tanks and machine gun parts. The revoked licenses were for goods sent between British exporters and the Egyptian military and police.

Export licenses are issued to companies or individuals, and Britain now has 212 such licenses left for exports to Egypt.

On Wednesday, parliament's Committees on Arms Export Controls said Britain had granted billions of pounds' worth of military export licenses for countries such as Syria, Iran and Libya despite questions over those countries' human rights records.

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