Denmark announced an end to an arms sales ban against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in light of its new foreign policy doctrine of ‘pragmatic realism.’ Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in an interview with the Politiken news outlet said Thursday that the bans imposed in 2018 and 2019 after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and in the backdrop of the war in Yemen will be reversed. ‘You can be a country that is problematic in our eyes, and still have some legitimate security policy interests,’ said Rasmussen. ‘And my line is that our line must be located in the same place as the lines of other European countries.’ The foreign minister, however, reiterated that his ministry will carry out a country analysis and security assessments on an annual basis to prevent Danish weapons from being used against its population or in wars where ‘the countries in question engage inappropriately.’ Media reports suggest that Denmark has more than 200 companies in its defense sector. “We must find a balance that ensures that the Danish defense industry has the same opportunities to participate in international competition, create jobs and development as the others – and at the same time stand guard over some basic principles,” he said. Rasmussen said the decisions have been taken under Denmark’s new foreign policy doctrine that calls for ‘pragmatic idealism’ or ‘pragmatic realism’ which is a clear shift from the ‘value-based foreign policy’ of previous ministers in charge.
Source: Anadolu Agency – English