Germany suspends arms exports to Egypt

BERLIN Mon Feb 7, 2011 10:26am EST

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has suspended arms exports to Egypt, citing human rights concerns in the handling of ongoing protests calling for President Hosni Mubarak to resign.

"In view of the current situation in Egypt... the processing of these applications is now suspended. The economy ministry is also investigating permits that have already been granted," the economy ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Germany sold some 22 million euros ($30 million) worth of armaments to Egypt in 2010, after selling 77.5 million euros worth in 2009, said the ministry, which is responsible for approving all arms exports.

Published reports have said at least part of the arms exports included submachine guns that were intended for police use.

Early into the crackdown on demonstrators last month, Germany threatened to cut development aid to Egypt -- one of the largest recipients of German aid -- if authorities did not abandon violence.

(Reporting by Brian Rohan; editing by Michael Roddy)

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