Rifkind woos SA with arms
Friday 07 April 1995
Malcolm Rifkind, the Secretary of State for Defence, begins a week-long visit to Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe today, to promote exports of British defence equipment and expertise. South Africa, with its long coastline, is particularly interested in warships.
He will visit the British military advisers who are helping to unite the former South African army and the ANC forces. But, it will be some time before the new force is ready to undertake peace-keeping operations elsewhere in Africa. Mr Rifkind said he expected it to play an important role, as South Africa has "an undeniable influence and resonance throughout the whole continent".
Mr Rifkind said a decision to send 600 British troops to Angola had not been made. But, if the ceasefire holds, they are likely to be sent soon. There are no plans to send British troops to Burundi, he added.
Mr Rifkind is to arrive in Windhoek, Namibia, this morning, accompanied by the Defence Export Services Organisation's director of marketing, Charles Masefield. On Sunday, he is to fly to South Africa, visiting Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg. He is expected to call on the Defence Minister, Joe Modrise, the British Military Advisory Team and a "defence industrial site". On Wednesday, he is to fly to Zimbabwe, where he will also see the British military team.
"We recognise South Africa has a large number of immediate priorities," he said. "The integration of the former South African army with the ANC is a major task. In the longer term, if it develops as a stabilising force in the region, I have no doubt it will have a useful contribution to make. But there are severe practical limits on what is achievable at the moment."
The most promising equipment order is for four corvettes - fast warships smaller than frigates - for the South African navy. Mr Rifkind said he would give "full support" to a bid by Yarrow shipbuilders, on the Clyde, to provide the vessels.
He did not comment on South Africa's offer of Rooivalk helicopters to meet the British army's requirement for almost 100 "flying tanks".
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...