Deal appears to end arms export saga
24 March 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s federal and regional governments have reached an agreement on weapons exports that appears to have ended an embarrassing row over a planned weapons factory in Tanzania.
The Tanzania saga saw Federal Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht publicly criticise the Walloon regional government for allowing Liege firm New Lachaussee to help build the new factory.
De Gucht said the move would damage Belgian efforts to support the peace process in Tanzania’s neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Under the new agreement, regional authorities will consult with the foreign ministry to ensure they do not allow arms exports to politically sensitive parts of the world.
Regional governments will also be informed of any countries that have had arms embargos or export restrictions placed on them by other EU states.
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Subject: Belgian news