In fact, the Union and the SPD had agreed on a clear restriction on arms exports when they took office. But there were many exceptions.
Berlin (dpa) – The German arms industry exported weapons of war worth around 4.5 billion euros during the current election period.
About a quarter of that went to Egypt with 1.081 billion euros, which has been criticized for human rights violations and its involvement in the conflicts in Yemen and Libya. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have also been among the top ten beneficiary countries of the arms industry since October 2017. This emerges from a response from the Defense Ministry to a request from leftist politician Sevim Dagdelen, who is available to the German News Agency.
In their coalition negotiations after the 2017 federal elections, the Union and the SPD agreed on an arms export ban for all countries “directly” involved in the war in Yemen. For Saudi Arabia, the decision was partially implemented – but only in November 2018 after the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was critical of the government, at the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul. To date, however, there are exceptions, for example for joint projects with other countries for Saudi Arabia.
The exact volume of war weapons exports to the hard-ruled kingdom since October 2017 is not mentioned in the Defense Ministry’s response because it could “allow the companies concerned to be re-identified”. The information was therefore classified as classified.
Saudi Arabia leads an alliance of Arab states fighting alongside the Yemeni government against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Egypt is also part of this alliance. On the other hand, Egypt is a strategic partner of Germany in the region and, for example, a close ally in the attempt to find a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The largest German armaments project underway with the most populous North African country is the delivery of submarines for the German company Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.
Leftist politician Dagdelen also called arms exports to NATO partner Turkey “unbearable” because of its involvement in the conflicts in Syria and Libya. “To speak of a prudent arms export policy in the face of massive exports of weapons of war to areas of tension is a deliberate deception of the public by the federal government,” she said.