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EU Parliament Asked to Investigate Spain’s Sale of Weapons to Venezuela

Editorial | El Universal

12.04.05 | France | Karl von Wogau, Chairman of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence, today urged the EU's plenary session gathered in Strasbourg to ascertain whether or not the sale of weapons by Spain to Venezuela violates the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports of the European Union. During the opening of the plenary session of the European Parliament at its seat in the French city, the German member of the EU parliament warned that the exportation of arms to Venezuela may very well go against the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, agreed to by countries of the EU and in force since 1998.

Von Wogau urged the president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, a Spanish member of the EUP, to “verify to what extent these actions infringe upon the resolutions” of the code in question, so reported AFP.

According to the German member of the parliament, the contract may very well violate the fourth point of the aforementioned code, which establishes that member States are to refrain from exporting arms to third countries if it entails a threat against the peace, security and stability of the region.

During his address, von Wogau also raised the question as to whether the aforementioned sale is in compliance with the “Principle of Prudence” to which the European Union and its member States must adhere anytime they export arms to third countries.

Last Wednesday, US Secretary of Defence Ronald Rumsfeld openly criticised Spain for the sale of weapons to Venezuela, affirming that it had been an “error” on the part of the Spanish government.

Today, Monday, the Spanish ministry of defence assured that is in communication with its Colombian counterpart concerning the eventual sale of military equipment similar to that recently acquired by Venezuela, which was stated also by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs himself, Miguel Ángel Moratinos.

Speaking before the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Moratinos affirmed that Spain “has no problem” in providing Colombia with matériel such as the aircraft and patrol boats sold to Venezuela.

Translation by W.K.



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