|Subject: AAP: UK arms sales to Jakarta increase
despite govt pledge
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 09:13:47 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
UK arms sales to Jakarta increase despite govt pledge
LONDON, March 13 AAP - The Blair Labour Government is exporting predecessors, a British newspaper has revealed, despite Indonesia's ongoing illegal occupation of East Timor.
A report in The Sunday Times states that the Blair Government has permitted the export of twice as many small arms and machine guns to Indonesia as were approved in the last year of John Major's conservative government. The government has also allowed the sale of howitzers, mortars and flame-throwers to Indonesia, the report said.
The claims are consistent with recent allegations made by London-based Australian journalist John Pilger.
The increase in arms sales to Indonesia runs contrary to British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's pledge to introduce an "ethical" foreign policy. "We have had fine words from Robin Cook but he has failed to get to grips with the arms trade," said one Labour backbencher.
"His ideals in this area are noble but he does not seem to have delivered." Government ministers accepted that it was possible that arms sales to Indonesia had risen.
The Foreign Office stated that the situation in East Timor had improved, following the Indonesian Government's commitment to East Timorese autonomy.