London restricts arms exports to Egypt

July 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

LONDON, July 19 (UPI) -- The British government said Friday it was revoking licenses for arms exports to Egypt in response to political violence claiming civilian lives.

More than 50 demonstrators died as a result of the violence following the July 3 ousting of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military. Morsi's administration was criticized for failing to address ongoing economic problems and for favoring Islamic political parties.

He was the presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood last year.

British Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government revoked five export licenses to Egypt for arms exports in response to the violence.

"We are deeply concerned about the situation in Egypt and the events which have led to the deaths of protesters," he said in a statement. "Whilst we have no reports of British equipment being used in the unrest in Egypt, we have taken the decision to revoke five licenses."

The Muslim Brotherhood called on members of the European Union to denounce what it described as a military coup. Western governments have been reluctant to categorize the ouster as a coup because of the subsequent legal restrictions on foreign aid to Egypt.

"Further applications for export licenses to Egypt will be assessed against events in the country," Cable said.

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