Swiss gov't suspends arms exports to Pakistan

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ZURICH, Nov 14 (Reuters) Switzerland said today it had suspended the export permits of anti-aircraft systems to Pakistan because of the political situation in that country.

''In view of the present situation in Pakistan the federal council decided ... to suspend export licences for anti-aircraft systems to Pakistan until further notice,'' the government said in a statement.

President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally of the West who took power in a 1999 coup, plunged his nuclear-armed nation into crisis on November 3 when he declared emergency rule, suspended the constitution, detained thousands of opponents and curbed the media.

The Swiss government approved the export of 21 systems, including ammunition, worth 136 million Swiss francs (121.1 million dollar) as well as the option to export another three systems with a value of around 20 million francs in December last year.

So far, six anti-aircraft systems worth around 38 million francs have been delivered.

Reuters RC VP0030

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