Thu, Aug 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to sell weapons to Tripoli, newspaper says

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Taiwan's recently rescuscitated ties with Libya were again making headlines yesterday, after a local newspaper said that the government was considering selling arms and military technology to Tripoli.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily, citing unidentified national security sources, said Taiwan had invited "important Libyan military personnel" to observe a live-fire war game last month, after resuming military exchanges with Tripoli following President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) surprise visit there in May.

The Libyan visitors later listed about 20 types of military items they wanted to buy, including rifles, machine guns and military telecommunications equipment, the paper said.

Taipei agreed to supply some of the items requested, the paper added.

The volume and value of the sales were not disclosed.

The Ministry of National Defense denied the reports, although ultimate authority to authorize foreign military sales rests with the Presidential Office.

"There is no such thing as the media have reported," ministry Spokesman Admiral Wu Chi-fang (吳季方) said.

Chen made a surprise visit to oil-rich Libya in May after the US barred him from stopping in New York or San Francisco on his return from a trip to Latin America.

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