Iraq buys $230 million worth of weapons from Serbia

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Serbia has signed a deal to export weapons and military equipment to Iraq worth $230 million, defense minister Dragan Sutanovac told Belgrade television late on Thursday.

Sutanovac said that the delegation of the Iraqi defence ministry visited Serbia on two occasions in recent months and the deal was signed with the state military trade company Jugoimport SDPR. He didn’t specify which weapons had been sold to Iraq, but Serbia produces only light arms and ammunition in the Zastava weapons factory in Kragujevac, 100 kilometers south of Belgrade.

The former Yugoslavia had a strong military industry located in several republics before its breakup in 1991. The value of military exports then exceeded $2 billion annually. Production was halted by the disintegration of the country, however, and only small segments are still operating in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia. The Zastava weapons factory suffered serious damage during the 1999 NATO bombings, but production resumed several years later. (adnkronos.com)

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