German federal government approves arms exports to Yemen war alliance


The German government has approved several arms exports to three Arab countries involved in the Yemen war. At its most recent meeting, the Federal Security Council agreed to the delivery of four reconnaissance radar systems for artillery guns to Saudi Arabia, while the United Arab Emirates is to receive 48 warheads and 91 homing heads for warship air defence systems. Jordan will receive 385 portable anti-tank weapons.

These details were extracted from a letter dated 19 September sent by the German Minister for the Economy Peter Altmaier to the Parliamentary Economics Committee, a copy of which has been leaked to the press. 

Saudi Arabia leads an alliance of a total of eight states fighting the Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran in Yemen. The UAE also plays a key role in the alliance.

The war has produced one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world. 

At the instigation of the Social Democrats, the CDU/CSU and SPD had therefore agreed in their coalition negotiations on an arms export ban for all countries "directly" involved in the Yemen conflict. No states were explicitly named, however.

During the first four months of its term of office, the German government approved hardly any arms deliveries to the states belonging to the war alliance, as shown by a list published by the government in July. 

Altmaier's letter contained no details relating to the volume of orders for the exports now approved.    (dpa)

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