Despite an arms embargo, the German government has had parts of fighter jets delivered to Saudi Arabia since early 2019. Last year, it allowed France on two occasions to export weapons with a total value of EUR 4.87 million from German production to the authoritarian-led desert state.
In 2020 she agreed to such a delivery from South Korea. This is evident from a response from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs to a request from the left-wing foreign policy expert Sevim Dagdelen.
Then, in 2019 and 2020, the federal government also enabled the supply of parts for “Eurofighter” and “Tornado” fighter jets destined for Saudi Arabia through three so-called collective export permits. Both aircraft are joint European products.
Arms exports to Saudi Arabia are currently controversial not only because of the human rights situation in the authoritarian kingdom, but mainly because of its role in the war in Yemen. For more than five years, Saudi Arabia has led an alliance of Arab states fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The war sparked one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. In March 2018, the SPD and the Union agreed in the coalition agreement on an arms export stop for all countries “directly” involved in the war in Yemen, but left several back doors open.
The murder of a journalist led to the export ban
A full export ban against Saudi Arabia was only imposed in November 2018 after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who criticized the government, in the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul and has already been extended three times, most recently to December 31, 2020 .
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The moratorium means that no new deliveries to the Kingdom will be approved and that exports that have already been permitted will be prevented. However, in March there was a relaxation: the delivery of joint products with partner countries destined for Saudi Arabia was allowed again.
The left-wing politician Dagdeel calls the export ban a “huge scam”. “Software, technology and other components for fighter jets used in the criminal war in Yemen are being supplied through other countries,” she says, demanding that all deliveries be stopped. (dpa)