Germany Halts Arms Export to S. Arabia

Germany Halts Arms Export to S. ArabiaGermany Halts Arms Export to S. Arabia

Germany has decided to stop exporting arms to Saudi Arabia, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said on Sunday, citing government sources as saying the kingdom was “too unstable” for it to be receiving deliveries of weapons.

The newspaper said Germany’s national security council, which holds its meetings in secrecy and is made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and seven other ministers, had made the decision on Wednesday.

The council members all declined to approve arms export to Saudi Arabia or deferred their decision until further notice, AFP reported. The news came days after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died on Friday and his successor, King Salman, has taken charge of the oil-rich country.

In October, a document showed Germany’s national security council approved the export of arms to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and several other countries in the Middle East. Arms approved for Saudi Arabia included six weapons systems for testing and electronic surveillance equipment.

In contrast, two-thirds of proposed arms export licenses were declined May 2014, according to media reports. Germany is reportedly the world’s third-largest arms exporter from 2008-2012, behind the US and Russia.