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Vol 41 No 4

Published 18th February 2000


Zimbabwe

Hawks or doves?

Britain is maintaining an 'informal arms embargo' on Zimbabwe, defence sources told Africa Confidential in Harare this week. This is despite a cabinet meeting in Downing Street last month when Prime Minister Tony Blair overruled Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's arguments for continuing to block arms export licences, in particular spare parts for the Hawk jets which British Aerospace (BAe) sold President Robert Mugabe's government a decade ago. It now seems that Cook may have won the day after press reports of the cabinet row caused further embarrassment over the question of the government's touted 'ethical foreign policy'.

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