'Spiegel': Germany ready to sell Saudi Arabia 200 tanks

Deal was long delayed by Germany over fears deal would endanger Israel; Berlin reportedly no longer considers Saudi a threat.

July 3, 2011 18:42
1 minute read.
German tanks being delivered [illustrative]

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

BERLIN - Germany is ready to sell more than 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia in a multi-billion euro deal after the government's security council gave its stamp of approval last week, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday.

A German government spokesman declined to comment on the report that said Saudi Arabia was interested in acquiring more than 200 2A7+ tanks, saying the government provided no information on security council decisions or individual export deals.

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The opposition Greens and the Left party said they would condemn the weapons sale to Saudi Arabia if it were confirmed, pointing out it would be a violation of restrictions on arms exports.

The tanks are made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall.

Der Spiegel said Saudi Arabia has long sought the Leopard tanks from Germany but the country had repeatedly turned down the requests, citing a danger to Israel. The report said the government no longer considered Saudi Arabia a threat for Israel.

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