European Union Defies European Parliament In Order to Supply Terrorists
EU TO DROP INDONESIA ARMS EMBARGO IN DEFIANCE OF PARLIAMENT AND COMMISSION
Have you ever seen anything quite this strange? The European Union says it will allow European weapons to be sent to Indonesia, to the terrorists responsible for the massacres in East Timor. (Of course the USA sells arms to terrorists all the time, but has the good sense never to admit it.) What's wrong with the public, if the EU can allow the arming of terrorists publicly, without shame?
Liz Lynne, Member of the European Parliament, has revealed that the arms embargo against Indonesia will lapse after the Council of Ministers defied the unanimous view of the European Parliament and the European Commission and rejected an extension.
The decision, reached at a meeting in Lisbon yesterday, is due to be announced on Monday when the embargo imposed last autumn will expire.
The failure to renew the arms restrictions comes amid continuing reports of atrocities and oppression by army and police units across Indonesia and in the refugee camps in West Timor.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers at political director (first secretary or top civil servant) level from EU foreign ministries was held in Lisbon yesterday to consider a draft common position to extend the embargo. Drawn up by the Portuguese who currently hold the EU presidency, the compromise position is believed to have been to extend the embargo for three months with some relaxation of restrictions on military contacts. But the plan, which required unanimous support, failed after four delegations rejected it -- from France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
According to reports, Portugal, Ireland and Sweden argued strongly for the extention of the ban. The position of the UK delegation is said to have been 'difficult to understand', appearing to reserve judgement without coming down clearly one way or the other.
A statement is to be released Monday expressing concern about the growing violence, support for the civilian government of Indonesia and the development of democracy but demanding that those responsible for the violence in East Timor last year are held to account.
West Midlands Liberal Democrat Euro MP Liz Lynne, patron of the UK East Timor Support Group, has been lobbying hard for an extension of the embargo. She was co-sponsor of a European Parliament resolution which won unanimous support from MEPs last month.
She said: 'I am appalled and saddened that the European Union has failed to give a lead to the world by extending the embargo. This will give completely the wrong signal to the officers and generals in the Indonesian army (TNI) who were responsible for ordering the massacres in East Timor and are still in an extremely powerful position in Indonesia.
'They show absolutely no sign of ending their appalling record of oppression and terror, indeed they are demanding states of emergency be imposed in Aceh and other territories so they can step up their terror with impunity. The embargo was imposed to protect the inhabitants of East Timor, 170,000 of whom are still imprisoned in camps dominated by the Indonesian militia in West Timor, where some aid workers are kept out and many people are dying.
'This decision will weaken, not strengthen the fragile forces of democracy in Indonesia. It is an outrage.
'It is depressing, but not surprising, yet again to see no sign of Robin Cook's much vaunted ethical foreign policy or of Britain providing the lead in Europe. The Foreign Office appears paralysed like a rabbit caught in headlights.'
The pro-terrorist decision is likely to spark dismay and anger across a spectrum of churches, NGOs, and from the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign.
This report comes from TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign. Their web site is at www.gn.apc.org/tapol
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