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Royal Navy sends warship to Libya to showcase defence equipment

Published: February 17, 2013
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Source: Guardian

Britain is trying to boost the sale of defence equipment to Libya by sending a Royal Navy warship to Tripoli to act as floating shop window for security firms, amid concern in Whitehall that France and Italy are already cashing in on the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

But the trip in April has raised concerns among Libyan politicians and arms control campaigners who have demanded to know which companies will be on board and what kind of equipment they will be attempting to sell.

So far, UK Trade and Investment, the government agency organising the fair, has refused to disclose the businesses likely to be exhibiting, saying this will give European competitors an advantage.

UKTI said no weapons would be offered for sale and the Libyans would only be shown specialist equipment to help with port security and maintenance, ribbed inflatable boats for patrolling the harbour, and uniforms.

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