§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the present state of British participation in the international arms trade in the Middle East: whether they welcome the hopes of the Russian Government (which took part in a recent Arms. Fair in the UAE) that trade in sophisticated weapons may provide "hundreds of millions of dollars"; what has happened to the jointly agreed policy of arms sales restraint towards this area among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and which of these countries is selling most.
§ Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
Between 1988 and 1992 the value of contracts won by the United Kingdom for the supply of defence equipment to the Middle East amounted to 21 per cent. of the total contracts awarded.
We continue to take a lead in efforts at the United Nations, at the Conference on Security Co-ordination in Europe and with the other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council to encourage restraint and responsibility in arms transfers by all members of the international community, including Russia.
We continue to apply the guidelines on arms transfers agreed among the Permanent Five Members of the Security Council and it remains our objective to promote further talks in this forum. Of the Permanent Five, the United States is the largest exporter of defence equipment.