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Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
June 1, 2018
EU Not to Renew Arms Embargo on Indonesia
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January/February 2000

Citing "historic changes of the last few months in Indonesia," the European Union (EU) announced on January 17 that it would not continue its arms embargo and suspension of bilateral military ties with the island nation. An extension of the prohibitions-imposed on September 16 in response to the violence sweeping East Timor-past the set expiration date of January 17 would have required unanimity among the 15 EU members. Reportedly, a majority of countries favored not extending the embargo. The EU noted, however, that future arms exports to Indonesia would be governed by the 1998 EU code of conduct on arms exports, which lists eight non-binding criteria that members are to consider before making arms deals.

The EU announcement came three days after Richard Holbrooke, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, warned the Indonesian military against carrying out a coup. Washington's September 9 suspension of all arms deliveries and military cooperation with Indonesia remains in effect. In the fiscal year 2000 foreign operations appropriations bill, Congress mandated that the president report that six conditions (including the return of refugees and the trial of militia and armed forces members accused of human rights violations) have been met before foreign military financing and international military education and training programs with Jakarta may be resumed.