• Germany edition
 
Germany defends chemical sales to Syria
Photo: DPA. Syrian President Al-Assad

Germany defends chemical sales to Syria

Published: 19 Sep 2013 08:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Sep 2013 08:55 GMT+02:00

Germany sold tonnes of chemicals to Syria which were capable of being put to military use.

A question from the Left Party to the government showed that the chemicals were exported to Syria from 2002 to 2006, the Süddeutsche newspaper reported on Wednesday. The chemicals were supposed to be used to make toothpaste but were also capable of building weapons.

From 2002 to 2003, 40 tonnes of chemicals were delivered. That increased to 97 tonnes from 2005 to 2006. The value of the deliveries was around €173,000.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been accused by the West and UN of carrying out a chemical weapons attack on his people in the capital of Damascus on August 21 in which hundreds were killed.

The chemicals sold have a dual use - they can be used for both military and non-military purposes. They include hydrogen fluoride, ammonium hydrogen fluoride and sodium cyanide. The export of the chemicals is restricted but not illegal, the Süddeutsche newspaper reported, as they are used in industry.

The deliveries were made during the SPD-Green government of Gerhard Schröder as well as under the grand coalition of the SPD and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU.

Germany’s government said Syria told them the chemicals would be used for industrial purposes. The government added it had established that the chemicals would not be put to military use before they were exported.

President Al-Assad said in an interview on Wednesday that he would give away the country's chemical weapons to whoever would take them. He told Fox News the destruction of the stockpile would take about a year.

READ MORE: 'UN probe proves gas attack was Assad'

The Local/tsb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

Putin warns Merkel of Ukraine civil war
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Putin warns Merkel of Ukraine civil war

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Chancellor Angela Merkel that Ukraine was on the verge of civil war after the Kiev government sent in the army against separatists in the east of the country, the Kremlin said on Wednesday. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

A major producer of ethically certified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free-range. But the regulator said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

Op-Ed
Why Germany should stop arming the world
Saudi Arabia wants to buy 800 German Leopard 2 tanks. Photo: DPA

Why Germany should stop arming the world

Germany's weapons industry is booming, and even the vice chancellor's attempt to stop selling tanks to the Saudis is a minor concession for the world's third biggest arms exporter. But the trade is destabilizing security. READ () »

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin

An exhibition opened in Berlin last week of rare colour photos from World War I. Haunting images of soldiers in trenches take centre stage in the collection. READ () »

German economy enjoying 'solid upturn'
Photo: DPA

German economy enjoying 'solid upturn'

The German economy is currently in the middle of a "solid upturn", the government said on Tuesday, even if concerns about the fallout from Ukraine are souring investor confidence. READ () »

Wet week leads up to warmer Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Wet week leads up to warmer Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, state weather service the DWD forecast on Tuesday. READ () »

Petition seeks to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition seeks to remove WWII Russian tanks

German newspapers launched a petition Tuesday to remove two Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against Russia's actions in Ukraine. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Travel
Germany to charge foreign drivers from 2016
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
'World's oldest' message in a bottle arrives home
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,082
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd