UK government urged to implement Egypt arms embargo

By staff writers
August 16, 2013

The government has said it is deeply concerned at events in Cairo, calling for restraint and dialogue, but it has still failed to announce an embargo on arms sales to Egypt.

In fact, the UK has never stopped selling arms to Egypt, points out Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) today, (15 August) in a new effort to stop the flow of weapons to an already volatile situation.

"It didn't stop selling arms when when Egypt was ruled by a brutal dictator and nor did it stop after the deaths of hundreds of protesters following his removal," commented Sarah Waldron, the core campaign coordinator at CAAT.

"Instead," she continued, "Mr Cameron went on his democracy tour to Egypt – the one where he was accompanied by eight arms company representatives.

"The UK still approved arms sales after the military coup – and revoked just five licences after dozens were massacred at a sit-in in July.

"Last night, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt told Newsnight that the British government is on the side of the Egyptian people. If that's true, then it needs to stop the arms sales – all of them," she declared.

CAAT argues that an embargo on arms sales is needed now, and is urging supporters to make their voices heard loudly on the issue by emailing UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

In September 2011, the last time the DSEi arms fair came to London, the Egyptian regime was invited to shop for weapons. One month later, 28 people were killed in the Maspero massacre.

A further protest against DSEi is being organised on 8 September 2013, "to oppose the deadly arms deals that will be pursued this year and call for an end to the arms fair," says Campaign Against Arms Trade (http://www.caat.org.uk).

[Ekk/3]

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