February 17, 2011 / 6:39 PM / 9 years ago

UK to review arms exports licenses to Bahrain

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is to formally review its recent licensing decisions for arms exports to Bahrain after violence broke out in the small Gulf state, a Foreign Office minister said on Thursday.

The licenses have included tear gas cartridges and equipment that can be used for riot control.

“In light of events we are today formally reviewing recent licensing decisions for exports to Bahrain,” Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt said in a statement.

“We will urgently revoke licenses if we judge that they are no longer in line with the (consolidated EU and UK export licensing) Criteria.”

Troops in armored vehicles took control of the Bahraini capital after police firing buckshot and teargas drove out protesters hoping to emulate demonstrators who toppled veteran leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Keith Weir

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