GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss government has temporarily blocked all arms shipments to the United Arab Emirates after a newspaper published a photograph indicating that a Swiss-made hand grenade was found in Syria.
The Swiss economics ministry says the suspension will remain in effect until “the facts of the matter have been sufficiently clarified,” though no arms have been exported from Switzerland to Syria since 1998, after the Swiss passed a new law on war materials.
In a statement Wednesday the ministry said the hand grenade appearing in a photograph published July 1 by Zurich weekly Sonntagszeitung came from a shipment of 225,162 hand grenades by Swiss-based RUAG Holding AG to the United Arab Emirates in 2003.
It said the UAE armed forces had signed a declaration pledging not to “re-export” the weapons.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.