Saudi Minister Tells Germany It Will Find Weapons Elsewhere

Saudi Minister Tells Germany It Will Find Weapons ElsewhereSaudi Minister Tells Germany It Will Find Weapons Elsewhere

In an interview with German news agency DPA, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair described as “strange” the decision taken by the German coalition partners in their outline agreement to issue no more permits for arms shipments to countries involved in the war in Yemen.

“We do not need your armaments. We will find them somewhere else,” the minister said, DW reported.

Saudi Arabia has been leading the alliance of nine states against Houthi fighters in Yemen since 2015. Thousands of people have died and some 3 million Yemenis have been displaced, according to the UN.

The German coalition agreement still has to be approved by members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Saudi Arabia has been one of Germany’s best customers for arms exports. However, Jubair said, “We will not put ourselves in a position where we become a plaything,” in the country’s domestic politics. “If Germany has a problem in delivering weapons to Saudi Arabia, we do not want to put pressure on Germany,” he said.

Relations between the two countries have come under some stress since German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel accused the kingdom of “adventurism” in Middle East conflicts.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia was sixth on Germany’s list of export authorizations with weapons worth €255 million ($314 million). Approved exports include patrol boats being produced at the Lurssen shipyard in north-east Germany.

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