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MEMO exclusive: UAE weapons to Egypt sparks legal inquiry

February 5, 2014 at 10:10 am


It is almost two weeks since MEMO published news of the video recording in which the failed Egyptian presidential candidate, Ahmad Shafiq, confirmed his contact with Egypt’s incumbent Minister of Interior General Mohammad Ibrahim, thanking him for his support for the 30th June revolution.

In the video Shafiq confirmed, “The Interior Minister had asked me to mediate military support from the UAE to the security forces. I did and the UAE immediately sent arms and equipment to fight terrorism. The UAE has contracted more arms to support the Egyptian Interior Ministry.”

The disclosure has since evoked considerable political and legal interest abroad, not least because of the Egyptian security forces’ indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force against political opponents of the coup. Indeed a senior member of the British Parliamentary Committee on Arms Export Controls described the development as deeply “worrying” and “on the top of the [list of] concerns”.

Today MEMO has obtained exclusive access to a letter from the legal representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in London. The letter states in part:

“We write this letter to you as a matter of urgency following the release of material that suggests that UK exports are being used by the military regime in Egypt for purposes of internal repression. We are particularly concerned that the recent EU suspension of export licences may be being purposefully circumvented through the United Arab Emirates”.

It adds: “We would accordingly request that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to:

  1. Review all extant licences;
  2. Suspend all licences for export of equipment to Egypt and other countries that may act as a conduit to the transfer of equipment to Egypt; and
  3. Provide us with the details of all extant licences to Egypt and third states listed below.”

We publish it here in its entirety