Anxious to sell for 7 billion euros worth of weapons by 2010, France has introduced measures to jumpstart its international weapons sales. But it’s an aim that troubles human rights groups.
Working in close cooperation with arms industries,
However, arms exports dipped in 2007, dropping from 5.74 billion euros in 2006 to 5.66 billion euros in 2007, according to a report on French arms exports released Wednesday.
In the list of the world’s top arms exporters,
French arms sales to
According to the 2007 report, French arms sales to African countries more than doubled last year, rising from 16 million euros to 38 million euros.
In 2007, 5.4 million euros worth of arms were exported to
"Arms deliveries abroad follow the ups and downs of diplomacy and also make it possible to maintain control of certain alliances," says Leger, adding that in this case, “one very clearly follows
According to the French Defense Ministry report,
Fear of a "grain of sand"
According to French Defense Minister Hervé Morin, the hike in arms sales is a result of smoother administrative measures and a reduction in production delays as well as export authorization periods. “Some 97% of the files submitted each month are addressed within a month, up from 50% before,” he told the French business newspaper, “La Tribune”.
Speaking about the administrative streamlining procedures, Teisseire says, “The idea is to avoid repetition,” before going on to explain, “When the same industry sells the same parts to the same customer every two months, we now avoid the same procedures each time.”
But some streamlined measures, according to Leger, could also lead to some blunders. “The current French system is very meticulous, a file is examined by several ministries before obtaining the green light,” he says. “But if the system is made more supple, a grain of sand could slip into the machine and we could realize that we have sold some arms we didn’t necessarily want to,” he said.
Human rights at the center of French policy?
According to the Defense Ministry report, the government aims to “create an environment favorable to arms exports” and to take into account “commercial interests within the diplomatic relations maintained by
But according to the London-based NGO, Handicap International, France puts its arms exports above the prohibition of cluster bombs. On its Web site, the NGO states that
But French Foreign Ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux categorically states that
Date created : 2008-10-23