GRONINGEN: The Netherlands exported weapons worth 1.41 billion euros last year, up 12 percent from 2008, according to the annual report of the Dutch Campaign against Arms Trade (CTW) published yesterday.
“Contrary to the spirit of the (export) policy, large quantities of weapons are still going to dictators, conflict areas and developing countries,” the anti-defence lobby organisation says. “Although Dutch arms export policy demands a critical view of the human rights situation and internal and regional efforts in the destination country, this is no obstacle to sales to clearly problematic destinations such as Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” CTW says.
The organisation says that among other things, six second-hand F-16 fighter aircraft were sold to Jordan. Further, Pakistan is said to have ordered and received ICT systems for navy vessels and surveillance aircraft for nearly 9 million euros, and Yemen has at its disposal components received for military vehicles worth over 2 million.
According to CTW, Morocco, which bought three warships for 555 million euros, was the top destination. Other big customers the organisation lists are the US (178 million euros), Germany (149 million), Canada (85 million) and Turkey (66 million).