17 February 2020 - 23 Shevat 5780 - כ"ג שבט ה' אלפים תש"פ

The Israeli government is now under pressure to bar military representatives from Myanmar from attending arms expositions held in Israel, as long as Myanmar remains under an international arms embargo over its human rights violations, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has decided.

The decision followed a report in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper after army officers from Myanmar recently attended the Israel Defense and Homeland Security expo in Tel-Aviv in June. Shortly after, requests for visas to attend arms expositions coming from the nationals of countries to which Israel refuses to sell arms would be rejected.

Sales personnel at several of the Israeli booths said they were unaware that sales to Myanmar had been banned. Others said there was no problem with showing Myanmar officials the merchandise, since they understand the restrictions on their country. Last year, the United Nations concluded that Myanmar had perpetrated ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the country.

Haaretz reported that the official visitors to the security expo included military representatives from several countries that don’t have official relations with Israel, including South Sudan, another country under an arms embargo over human rights violations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said at the time that “Israel does not sell arms to Myanmar and this policy has not changed.” With regard to the presence of visitors from South Sudan, Nahshon said that “Israel complies with the UN resolutions on the arms embargo.”

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