Germany approves over €1 billion in arms deals to Middle East | News | DW | 03.01.2021
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Germany approves over €1 billion in arms deals to Middle East

Last year, the German government signed off on weapons exports to countries involved in the deadly conflicts in Yemen and Libya. Germany is among the world's top five weapons exporters.

A Leopard 2A7 fighting vehicle

Germany is signing off on arms deals to countries that are backing deadly conflicts in Yemen and Libya

The German government approved a total of €1.16 billion ($1.41 billion) in arms exports during 2020 to countries involved in both the Yemen and Libya conflicts, reported news agency dpa citing the country's Economy Ministry.

Germany, by December 17, had signed off on permissions to export weapons and military equipment worth €752 million to Egypt.

Permission was also granted to German arms companies for deals worth over €305.1 million to Qatar, over €51 million to the United Arab Emirates, €23.4 million for Kuwait and around €22.9 million to Turkey.

Licenses were granted to Jordan totaling €1.7 million and Bahrain amounting to €1.5 million.

The breakdown was provided by the ministry in response to a request from lower house parliament member Omid Nouripour from Germany's Green Party.

Ties to Yemen, Libya

The countries mentioned are all involved in either or both of the years-long conflicts in Yemen and Libya.

In Yemen, a Saudi Arabia-led alliance has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels alongside the government since late 2014. The alliance includes the UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain.

The United Nations humanitarian office puts the number of those who have died as a result of the 6-year-old war in Yemen at an estimated 233,000.

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German weapons for Saudi-Arabia

This includes 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Libyan civil war has been raging since 2014 and thousands have died. Qatar and Turkey are intervening on the side of the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli.

Rival military strongman General Khalifa Haftar is supported by the UAE and Egypt. Currently, there is a cease-fire in Libya, raising hopes for an end to the conflict.

Germany among top weapons exporters

Germany is one of the top five arms exporters worldwide, along with the US, Russia, France and China, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Together, they accounted for 76% of all arms exports in 2015–19, SIPRI reports.

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