Germany restarts arms exports to Saudi Arabia after three year moratorium


The German government has approved new arms export deals to Saudi Arabia, more than three years after it halted weapons sales to the Persian Gulf kingdom due to Riyadh’s war on Yemen and its role in the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister and vice chancellor, confirmed in a letter to the Bundestag (the German federal parliament) that several deals on arms exports had been approved by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before his trip to the Persian Gulf region on energy hunt, according to German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel and the DPA news agency.

The export licenses are part of a joint program with Italy, Spain and Britain, the letter asserted.

The reports emerged after Scholz returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, where he sought to seal new energy partnerships with the oil- and gas-rich Persian Gulf states.