Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office on Cyprus
The regime applied to strategic exports to Cyprus
flows from UN Security Council Resolution 1062 of 28 June 1996
which expresses "serious concern about the modernisation
and upgrading of military forces" in Cyprus. In support of
this the Government is committed to restricting exports to Cyprus
which contribute to the military build-up on the island, and issued
a Statement to this effect on 13 February 1997 (attached). The
types of equipment the Government seeks to restrict are categorised
in the Statement and defined in the EU Common Embargo list.
These guidelines relate only to exports to military
end-users. The UK recognises that there may be a legitimate civilian
use for equipment which, if purchased by the military, would contravene
SCR 1062. For example, the export of the sniper rifle to Cyprus
highlighted by the Committee was approved as having a legitimate
anti-terrorist policing purpose; the export of the same rifle
to the armed forces in Cyprus would not have been approved. However,
all export licence applications for equipment on the UK Military
List are assessed on a case by case basis against national criteria
and those contained in the EU Code of Conduct, irrespective of
Descriptions of the categories of equipment
excluded from export to the military in Cyprus can be found in
the EU Common Embargo list, copy attached. There can be some room
for interpretation over the definition "armed, armoured vehicles"
when used to describe a weapons platform. The UK has considered
that a vehicle must be both armed and armoured to qualify as a
weapons platform; and that a vehicle which is only armoured, such
as a field ambulance, would not be a weapons platform. The other
descriptions are self-explanatory.
EU PARTNERS: STRATEGIC
The policies pursued by EU partners in respect
of Cyprus vary.
Like the UK, Germany, Portugal and Sweden have
established specific guidelines for exports to Cyprus. The practice
of these countries appears to be more restrictive than our guidelines
in that they prevent the export of most types of lethal or other
military equipment irrespective of end-user, although the impact
of such measures needs to be considered against the small number
of licence applications which these countries receive, compared
to the UK.
Other producers and exporters of military equipment,
such as France, Spain and Belgium, do not have specific restrictions
on defence exports to Cyprus. We understand that France is guided
by its commitment to the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions,
and that Belgium is guided by the policy of exporting only "defensive"
weapons (which may include certain military equipment). Again,
these countries issue very few licences. We are aware, however,
of reports in the defence trade press which suggest that some
of them may be prepared to permit exports which would be prevented
by the UK guidelines.
Finally, some Member States such as Ireland
and Luxembourg have never had to consider any export licence applications
for Cyprus due to their lack of an indigenous defence industry,
and consequently do not have a clear policy in this area.
11 October 2000
Mr Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of
State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's
policy on the export of military equipment to Cyprus; and if he
will make a statement. (15203)
Mr David Davis: We fully support United
Nations Security Council resolution 1062 which expresses "serious
concern about the modernisation and upgrading of military forces"
on Cyprus. We will therefore grant licences for the export of
equipment only to the military forces of either side on the island
of Cyprus which we are satisfied does not fall within the following
categories as defined by the EU common embargo list:
(a) Weapons designed to kill and their ammunition;
(b) Weapons platforms; or
(c) Ancillary equipment which is specifically
designed for use in conjunction with either (a) or (b).
Within this context, export licence applications
will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Note: Among other items category (a)
includes guns, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, fire control
systems and tanks. Category (b) includes armed and armoured vehicles
or vehicles with fitted mountings for arms, vessels of war, aircraft