Germany will re-examine arms exports to Saudi Arabia after weekend executions

January 4, 2016 18:23
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BERLIN - Germany may look harder at its arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the Gulf kingdom carried out its biggest mass execution for decades on Saturday, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday.

Berlin is not planning to impose sanctions on Riyadh after the executions, a foreign ministry spokesman said. But Gabriel's ministry has in the past rejected some arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia and can withhold the required export licenses.

"We can see that it was right to neither deliver tanks nor G36 assault rifles to Saudi Arabia," Gabriel said in a statement issued by the economy ministry. "Now we have to review whether we also need to evaluate defensive armaments more critically in the future."

The Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (Bafa), a subsidiary of the economy ministry, is responsible for licensing arms export deals, and in 2014, Gabriel promised a much more cautious approach to permitting such exports to unstable regions like the Middle East.

"The bottom line is that the minister has frequently made it clear that arms exports are an instrument of foreign and security policy and not an economic instrument," an economy ministry spokesman said told regular news conference, calling the executions "worrisome."

In the first six months of 2015, Germany permitted the export of arms worth over 178 million euros ($192.56 million) to Saudi Arabia, according to a report by the economy ministry in October 2015.

Both opposition parties in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, the Greens and the hard-left Linke, demanded an immediate halt to arms exports to Saudi Arabia following the execution of 47 people, among them a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

The executions led to widespread protests in the Middle East, especially in predominately Sh'ite Iran, which culminated with protesters storming the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In retaliation, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran .

Related Content

Breaking news
August 18, 2018
U.N. chief suggests options for improved Palestinian protection