EU arms embargo has a symbolic meaning

Experts claim that the decision taken unanimously by the EU gives the message that Egyptian security forces used lethal and excessive force.

EU arms embargo has a symbolic meaning

World Bulletin/News Desk

The EU Foreign Ministers, meeting at Brussels due to the massacres in Egypt targeting anti-coup demonstrators, made a decision to suspend arms exports to Egypt rather than implementing a full embargo insisted upon by Italy and Sweden. Focusing on the symbolic meaning of the decision, experts claim that the decision taken unanimously by the EU gives the message that Egyptian security forces used lethal and excessive force.

In accordance with the decision taken in Brussels at the foreign ministers meeting, member states will distinguish between the internal and external usage of the exported equipment. The arms and equipment which could possibly be used in oppressing people or in applying excessive force will not be permitted for export. However, the fact that the Assad regime is using lethal force through missiles and air force, and chemical weapons against civilians, undermines the decision for discussing the usage of arms.

"This is a saving grace step"

Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Stockholm International Peace Research Institution expert (SIPRI) Dr. Lan Anthony reminded that the decision had been taken unanimously and that each country would apply it in accordance with its administrative procedure, and stated that the decision is primarily political.

Anthony stated that the decision is a signal given, not only by the European External Action Service, but by all member states indiacting that “the Egyptian Army actions are not proportional and are lethal.”  

Middle East expert from the Institute of Strategic Thinking Ahmet Uysal claimed that the decision is significant in terms of its symbolic meaning, rather than its concrete impact on the situation. He said, "it is far beyond reversing the coup or rebutting the coup, but is a saving grace step."

Egypt meets its military needs through aid from the US. The US gives $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt. Besides US aid, Egypt imported $5.5 billion dollars of arms over the last decade, $3.2 billion of which is from the US, $1.2 billion from Russia and $337 million from China.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ağustos 2013, 13:52
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