Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

France

France suspends sale of arms to Egypt amid turmoil

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-05

France said it had halted the sale of arms and riot equipment to Egypt Saturday, as new protests urging Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down hit Paris. France was criticised for exporting similar products to Tunisia during its own unrest.

AFP - France said on Saturday it had suspended sales of arms and riot police equipment to Egypt as fresh protests took hold of Paris pressing for veteran leader Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The decision was taken by the prime minister's office at an extraordinary meeting on January 27, and was conveyed to those concerned the following day, an aide to Prime Minister Francois Fillon told AFP.

With regard to equipment used to maintain public order, "export permits for explosive materiel, mostly tear gas grenades, are the responsibility of customs. These were suspended on January 25," the aide said.

Egypt has been rocked by a popular uprising since January 25 seeking to topple Mubarak, in power for nearly 30 years.

The French government was recently challenged by the Socialist opposition as to why it had continued to allow exports of such products to Tunisia after the uprising which eventually forced long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee.

Fillon acknowledged that France had authorised the exports to Tunisia in November last year and January, until just before the departure of Ben Ali, but said the exports had not taken place.

In December and January, there had been "no deliveries of war materiel" to the Tunisian authorities," Fillon said, insisting that they needed the rubber stamp of a committee answerable to the prime minister.

The permits had been granted by the defence, interior and foreign ministries, "but none of them resulted in exports," he said.

Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie caused a storm last month when she suggested France could train Tunisian police to maintain order better, amid reports that they had shot dead dozens of unarmed protesters.

Meanwhile at least 2,000 people rallied in Paris and elsewhere in France demanding Mubarak to quit immediately and protesting against foreign meddling in Egyptian politics.

Organisers of the Paris rally said that demonstration alone had attracted 4,000: police put the figure at 1,700.

Smaller demonstrations took place in Strasbourg in the east and Grenoble in the southeast.
 

Date created : 2011-02-05

  • FRANCE

    French PM admits tear gas exports to Tunisia during uprising

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy admits to errors in France's Tunisia policy

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    France faces criticism over soft touch with Tunisia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)