Friday, 23 August 2013
Algeria: Netherlands approves supply of military equipment
Thales Nederland has been given an export licence by the Dutch government which allows it to sell some €21 million of military equipment to Algeria. Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans confirmed the licence in a letter to the Dutch parliament. He did not name the company in the letter, although Thales has confirmed that it is the company in question.
The deal involves radar systems and so-called C3 systems (command, control and communication). This equipment will go to Algeria via China, where the Algerian navy has ordered three small frigates. The systems will be partially built into the frigates by Thales Nederland staff after which sensitive hardware and software will ultimately be installed in Algeria. This is being done to prevent Chinese companies or the Chinese government gaining access to sensitive information.
According to Timmermans, the licence application was checked against the EU position on weapons exports. In was not expected that the systems would infringe on the area of human rights. Timmermans also said that Algeria has a legitimate need to protect itself against terrorist action. He also virtually ruled out the chances of the sensitive relations between Algeria and Morocco escalating militarily.
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.
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