Qatar missiles discovered in Italy
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Discovery of Qatar missile in Italy raises concerns over arms sales to Middle East

(Last Updated On: April 5, 2023)

A French missile that was once owned by Qatar’s military was found among a cache of weapons that were seized in Italy. The missile was discovered during a raid on neo-Nazi sympathisers, and the Italian police have stated that the weapon is in working condition, but lacks an explosive charge.

Qatar’s foreign ministry has confirmed that the missile was sold by the Gulf state 25 years ago to a third “friendly” country that wishes not to be named.

Part of larger weapons sale

In a statement released on Tuesday, Doha revealed that the missile was part of a larger weapons sale that was made more than two decades ago. The sale included 40 Matra Super 530 missiles, and the Matra Super530 missile was sold to a “friendly” third country that wishes not to be named.

Lolwah Alkhater, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, said that Qatar has launched an investigation into the incident, alongside Italian authorities and the authorities of the unnamed friendly nation.

The Italian police have said that the suspects who were involved in the seizure of the missile tried to sell it via WhatsApp. Elite police forces searched properties across northern Italy following an investigation into Italians who had fought in the conflict between the Ukrainian government’s forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The raid led to the discovery of 26 guns, 20 bayonets, 306 gun parts, including silencers and rifle scopes, and more than 800 rounds of various calibres. The arms that were found during the raids were primarily from Austria, Germany and the United States.

Alkhater has stated that Qatar is working closely with Italian authorities to uncover the facts surrounding the incident, and the country is very concerned about how a missile sold 25 years ago ended up in the hands of a third non-state party. The foreign ministry spokeswoman added that Qatar will continue to cooperate with Italian authorities to ensure that the incident is investigated thoroughly.

Raising concerns

The discovery of the missile has raised concerns about arms sales to countries in the Middle East, particularly given the ongoing conflict in Yemen. The conflict has seen a large number of civilians killed and injured, with many of the victims being children. The United Nations has called for an end to the conflict, and has urged all parties involved in the conflict to respect international law.

Qatar has been accused of supporting extremist groups in the Middle East, and the country has faced criticism from its neighbours in the Gulf region. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar has denied the allegations, and has accused its neighbours of trying to undermine its sovereignty.

The discovery of the missile in Italy is likely to increase tensions in the region, and could lead to further accusations of arms sales to countries that are involved in conflicts in the Middle East. It is also likely to lead to increased scrutiny of Qatar’s military capabilities, and may prompt calls for greater transparency over the country’s arms sales.

In recent years, there have been growing concerns about the proliferation of arms in the Middle East, and the impact that this is having on the region. Many of the conflicts in the region have been fuelled by the supply of weapons to various groups, and there are fears that this could lead to further instability and conflict in the future.

The discovery of the missile in Italy highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability in the arms trade, particularly when it comes to countries in the Middle East. It also raises questions about the role that countries in the region are playing in conflicts around the world, and the impact that this is having on civilians.

As the investigation into the seizure of the missile continues, it is likely that there will be further calls for greater scrutiny of arms sales to countries in the Middle East, and for greater transparency in the arms trade. The discovery of the missile

Gulf News Portal editorial team focuses on breaking news that help shape the region.