Select Committee on Foreign Affairs First Special Report


Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on an exception to the arms embargo on Argentina (18 September 1998)

  I would like to inform you that we have recently granted an exception to the embargo on exports of military equipment to Argentina. In such cases it is our usual practice to inform Parliament through a written answer. As Parliament is in recess I thought it right to inform you, in the interests of transparency.

  We have decided to allow the sale of a further 24 nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) protection suits and eight pairs of boots for use by the Argentine contingent of the UN task force in Kuwait. You may recall that we have allowed such sales twice already this year. In a written answer on 5 February I informed Parliament that we had allowed the sale of 155 NBC suits and 50 pairs of boots, and in an answer on 29 April I said that we had allowed the sale of a further 110 NBC suits and 110 pairs of boots. These cases all represent exceptions but not a change to the embargo.

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