Spain may sell more weaponry despite US row

12th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 April 2005, MADRID-Spain may sell more military hardware to another South American country despite provoking the anger of the US over the deal with Venezuela.

12 April 2005

MADRID-Spain may sell more military hardware to another South American country despite provoking the anger of the US over the deal with Venezuela.

Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the naval hips and joint military-civilian-use planes it just sold Venezuela were "indispensable" for patrolling the South American nation's territorial waters and conducting the anti-drug fight.

He added that Madrid has already made contacts with Bogota to possibly provide similar equipment to Colombia.

The United States, which has testy relations with Caracas, has criticized the sale.

In the Spanish Senate, Moratinos said contacts on possible sales have been made with Bogota, and he announced that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe will make an official visit to Spain in mid-July.

Moratinos also said that the controversy unleashed by Madrid's military sales agreement with Caracas was "unjustified."

He added the equipment sold to Venezuela is "indispensable for controlling (the country's) territorial waters and forest borders, for the fight against drug trafficking, and it is able to be used for civilian and even humanitarian purposes".

Moratinos said: "(It) does not change at all the military balance in the region nor the equilibrium between Venezuela and Colombia."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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