Sale of Dutch tanks to Indonesia disputed

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The Dutch caretaker government wants to sell tanks to Indonesia, even though a majority of parliament has spoken out against the plan.

On Tuesday, the Dutch daily de Volkskrant reported that, according to the government, there is nothing prohibiting the sale. Furthermore, the Defence Ministry desperately needs the 200 million euros that the sale of the tanks would raise. That money is necessary for the ministry to compensate for required budget cuts.

According to parliamentary rules, however, the sale of arms cannot be undertaken by caretaker governments without the explicit approval of the lower house and the senate.

A number of MPs had expressed concerns that selling tanks to Indonesia would be inappropriate given the country’s human rights record. The cabinet plans to inform parliament of its decision soon.

(dcf/imm/rk)

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