Merkel gov't under pressure over Saudi tank deal

Germany has rules barring arms exporters from selling weapons to countries in crisis areas and those with human rights problems.

By REUTERS
July 5, 2011 18:57
2 minute read.
German tanks being delivered [illustrative]

German tanks being delivered 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)

 
X

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

BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel's government faces a grilling in parliament, it was reported on over a secret sale of tanks to Saudi Arabia that Germany's opposition argues reverses a post-war stance severely restricting arms sales abroad.

Reuters reported from Riyadh on Monday that Saudi security sources had confirmed a deal for 200 Leopard 2 tanks, fueling a growing political debate over the arms sale after Der Spiegel magazine leaked first details about it on Sunday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Germany votes to end its nuclear power program
Iran says Merkel plane blocked due to technical glitch

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere called the issue a matter of national security, and declined comment. "Meetings of the national security council are classified and they're going to stay that way," de Maiziere told reporters on Tuesday.

Opposition lawmakers said they would demand answers in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday about the news reports. "At some point the government is going to have to give up its veil of secrecy and come clean," said Juergen Trittin, parliamentary floor leader for the opposition Greens party. "Just try to keep it secret when you start delivering multi-ton tanks to Saudi Arabia," Trittin added.

Germany has long imposed rules on its arms exporters barring them from selling weapons to countries in crisis areas as well as those with human rights problems and or engaged in armed conflicts. The Middle East, with the exception of Israel, was long considered such a taboo area of tension.

Selling armaments abroad is a sensitive issue in Germany due to its Nazi past, but also because of the notorious role arms makers such as Krupp played in feeding 19th and 20th century wars with exports of weapons to virtually all belligerents.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


But despite its self-imposed restrictions, Germany's arms exports have doubled in the last decade and the country has moved ahead of Britain and France to become the world's third largest exporter of weapons behind the United States and Russia.

About 90,000 work in the fast-growing defense sector. The 2A7+ tanks, made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall, are considered to be one of the best main battle tanks built anywhere in the world.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

 World War Two Norwegian resistance fighter Joachim Roenneberg holds up a Union flag, which had been
October 21, 2018
World War II hero who prevented Nazis from getting nuclear bomb dies

By REUTERS