Call to end arms sales to regime
Saturday 24 May 1997
Speaking after a report in The Independent highlighting the sale of armoured vehicles and water cannons in spite of the Government's ethical foreign policy, Mr Campbell called for an immediate ban on the sales.
He said there was nothing a review would tell us about Indonesia's suppression of democratic dissent and repression of East Timor that was not known already.
"There can't be a stronger case for a change in Britain's policy than the example of Indonesia. Knowing what we know, it is inconceivable that we should continue to supply arms to a regime of such brutality," Mr Campbell said.
Earlier, Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, said he was "surprised" that water cannons were exported from Britain and would be asking "searching questions" in the review, which he announced on Thursday.
Revoking the export licences could open the Government to compensation claims by British exporters. But the Foreign Secretary gave a clear signal that he could still act against the exports if they were judged to contravene the policy he had introduced for taking ethics into account in diplomacy.
"That report in The Independent is unfounded," said Mr Cook. "We have made no decisions to revoke or not to revoke any arms sales."
But he added: "I was personally surprised that we export water cannons we don't use in Britain. I will be asking some searching questions about that."
Downing Street refused to rule out the possibility of compensation if the Government took tough action to enforce the export ban. The Independent reported that export licences had been granted for seven armoured water cannons and 17 armoured vehicles. Water cannons and British-made armoured personnel carriers were used in Jakarta this week to break up a march, as tensions mounted in the run-up to Indonesia's general election.
The most difficult issue facing the Cook review will be continuing orders for the Hawk trainer jet, which campaigners allege were converted and used to carry out attacks on people of East Timor. There is an outstanding order for 16 new Hawk fighter jets, worth pounds 300m, by British Aerospace, on which many jobs will depend.
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Chicago river turns green to mark Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day: Google Doodle celebrates patron saint of Ireland - here are 10 things you didn't know about the man himself
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...