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Qatar munitions ban lifted

Switzerland has lifted its ban on weapons exports to Qatar, after the Qatari government apologised for sending some of its Swiss munitions to Libya.

The embargo has been in place since July when reports surfaced that Qatar had delivered munitions made by Switzerland’s Ruag technology company to Libyan rebels, even though re-exporting them to third parties was expressly forbidden in the terms of the purchase deal.

A spokeswoman for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) told Swiss public radio on Wednesday that the delivery was due to a “military logistics error”.

Affected by the six-month embargo were mostly laser-targeting devices. A suspended shipment can now go ahead.

According to Seco, Switzerland’s war materiel law and its associated regulations contain a comprehensive catalogue of conditions for approval of exports.
One of the conditions is that there should be no risk of war materiel being used against civilians.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR