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Volume 170: debated on Thursday 19 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the cessation of exports of Semtex from Czechoslovakia.

As I informed the House on 10 April 1989, Official Report, column 360, we had been told that Czechoslovakia ceased exporting Semtex in 1982. We have now received further clarification from the Czechoslovak authorities, who have explained that the last foreign trade exports had indeed been in 1982, but that in addition "special deliveries" to the GDR and Hungary had continued in the context of Warsaw pact commitments. These deliveries were distinct from normal foreign trade operations and had been covered by a guarantee of non re-export to third countries. They have informed us that all exports of Semtex, including the "special deliveries", ended in 1989. We are in discussion with the Czechoslovak authorities about past exports of Semtex, and have noted President Havel's statement that about 1,000 tonnes had been exported to Libya.