The Flemish government does not feel in any way concerned by the Federal Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo’s (Open Vld), latest call to instigate an embargo on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Flanders “does not export arms” to the country. The spokesman for the Flemish Minister-President, Geert Bourgeois, gave assurances to this effect on Sunday.
Interviewed by Belga, the spokesman repeated that the issue of specific targets last year only concerned the civilian use of weapons.
The spokesman said, “The issue does not arise in Flanders, and therefore no further discussion is needed with federate groupings.”
Mr Bourgeois (of the New Flemish Alliance), says that an embargo might only occur if it is ever resolved at European level to be an efficient means to deal with this issue. This is also the Walloon government’s position, as the spokesman for the Walloon Minister-President, Paul Magnette, has confirmed.
The office for Mr Bourgeois says that Flanders recently strengthened its decree upon weapons licences and henceforth has a legislative framework “amongst the strictest in Europe in this regard.” There is thus no need for an embargo.
Here again, Mr Magnette puts forward exactly the same argument in respect of Walloon legislation.