Source: Radio Netherlands; issued March 24, 2011)
In parliament, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has said that the cabinet has radically changed its arms exports policy regarding Arab nations. The government will no longer issue export licenses for arms sales to Libya, Iran and Syria. Mr Rosenthal said new applications for arms sales to Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrain have been ‘put on hold'. According to the minister, arms exports to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa were already the subject of ‘very strict and careful scrutiny’. He added that “Criteria are being applied much stricter than before.” Minister Rosenthal said he would inform parliament about recent developments in the Arab region in connection with arms shipments in a letter soon.