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Swiss freeze arms exports to UAE, probe Syria link
Source: BI-ME with Reuters , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Thu July 5, 2012 5:10 pm

INTERNATIONAL. Switzerland said it was freezing arms exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a media report said a Swiss-made hand grenade originally shipped to the Gulf state had been found in Syria.

The government took the decision after a Swiss newspaper published a picture of a hand grenade produced by Swiss weapons manufacturer RUAG which it said had been taken in the Syrian town of Marea last month, despite the fact that Switzerland stopped arms exports to Syria in 1998.

The photograph raised concerns about the final destination of Switzerland's arms exports.

Initial findings suggested the grenade had been part of a RUAG shipment of 225,162 grenades sent to the UAE in 2003, the Swiss government said.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is therefore tentatively freezing all pending applications for arms exports to the UAE and demanding the return of licenses which have already been issued but not yet used, the Swiss government said in a statement.

The UAE government has not commented on the matter yet.

The Swiss government said it will make further inquiries because the circumstances in the case remain unclear.

"At present, there is no evidence that Swiss hand grenades have found their way to Syria. Inquiries are ongoing however," the government said.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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QATAR. The turmoil in financial markets at the beginning of this year has prompted some to question whether the US Federal Reserve should have increased interest rates in December.
date:Posted: February 13, 2016
KUWAIT. Kuwait has built up very large fiscal and external net asset positions over many years, which will continue to help it weather the current low oil price environment; The overall fiscal and external balance sheets will remain strong, backed by a significant stock of financial assets.
date:Posted: February 12, 2016
INTERNATIONAL. A Syria in which the regime and IS, rather than other rebel groups, are the only real domestic players turns Bashar al-Assad into a pivotal cog in the fight against jihadism. That is something Saudi Arabia cannot allow to happen. To turn the tide, it needs a United States that is engaged and willing to do its bit.
KUWAIT. Kuwait has built up very large fiscal and external net asset positions over many years, which will continue to help it weather the current low oil price environment; The overall fiscal and external balance sheets will remain strong, backed by a significant stock of financial assets.
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