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Bern decides on exports of munitions

The government has rejected a number of applications for the export of Swiss munitions to Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

In a statement on Wednesday, the cabinet said the decisions had been made because of unsatisfactory domestic and human rights situations in the three countries.

The applications concerned machine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers and components for air defence systems.

Pakistan was the largest purchaser of Swiss arms last year.

But the government did approve the sale of hundreds of rifles and machine guns to India to equip the police in various parts of the country, and the delivery of parts for air-to-air guided missiles and air defence systems to South Korea.

The pacificist group, Switzerland without an Army, wants to ban the export of arms, and has collected enough signatures to bring the issue to a nationwide vote. A date still has to be set for the vote.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR