February 26, 2004

Warning over UK arms sales loophole:

"The government is allowing the sale of weapons components to 'known human rights abusers', a new report claims.

A dramatic rise in sales to these nations undermines the government's own ethical policies, say the charities Oxfam, Amnesty International and Iansa.

The Foreign Office rejected the conclusions of the charities' report.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the rise in sales was because production lines now operated internationally, but checks were as rigorous as ever.

Questioned by MPs about arms exports, Mr Straw also gave details of a review which could see the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. "


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