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Arms Control: Kurds

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 10981, tabled on 9 October 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will take steps with his EU partners and the US Department of Defense to improve the traceability and tracking of small arms and light weapons provided to the Kurdish Regional government for use in fighting against ISIS.

Answered on

19 October 2015

All military equipment exported from the UK, including the gifting of small arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government is subject to stringent assessment against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This includes assessment of the end-use and likelihood of the equipment being diverted. As part of the provision of small arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government, the UK also requested and received assurances on handling, secure storage and useage from the Ministry of Peshmerga as the responsible Government authority in charge of end-use.

The Government is committed to the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). This is a core international instrument for tackling these issues and the Government is committed to its full implementation. The Government also supports the work carried out by the EU as part of its Small Arms and Light Weapons Strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition.