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Opposition up in arms over Saudi weapons deal

The Local · 10 Feb 2013, 16:48

Published: 10 Feb 2013 16:48 GMT+01:00

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Germany's federal security council has issued a positive response to a preliminary request for the sale by the Bremen-based Lürssen shipyard specializing in yachts and military boats, the Bild am Sonntag said.

The council, which meets secretly and includes Chancellor Angela Merkel and eight cabinet ministers, has to authorize German arms exports.

The boats, worth between €10 million and €25 million each, are expected to be delivered to Saudi Arabia within two years after the contract has been signed, wrote the paper.

In December the paper reported that Riyadh planned to buy at least 30 German armoured vehicles, known as Dingo 2.

Opposition parties criticized the deal on Sunday and demanded more clarity over the government's arms export policy. Critics say the weapons could be used against protesting civilians in the Middle East.

But Merkel's government has always referred to Saudi Arabia's strategic importance in the fight against terrorism and as a stable partner in the volatile region.

“Mrs Merkel is wrong if she thinks that the enemy of an enemy is automatically Germany's strategic partner,” Katja Keul, chief whip of the Green Party told Der Spiegel on Sunday.

Story continues below…

Thomas Oppermann, chief whip of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), also voiced criticism of the project. "The German government apparently wants to completely arm Saudi Arabia and has learnt nothing from the public protests against supplying this country with weapons," he told Bild.

AFP/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:38 February 10, 2013 by ovalle3.14
What, a peaceful European country profitting from the arms race in the Middle East? Can't be true.
23:23 February 10, 2013 by bellsucks
Either them or the Russians.
10:48 February 11, 2013 by Fidellemus
Though the Saudi Arabia is taking a long time, but its good that before making a deal, they must clear all the doubts. And both of the parties must agree.

prix achat appartement
10:49 February 11, 2013 by Englishted
Well I don't see how they can use these boats to crush opposition protests unless the protests are held at sea .
10:50 February 11, 2013 by Fidellemus
Though the Saudi Arabia is taking a long time, but its good that before making a deal, they must clear all the doubts. And both of the parties must agree.

15:11 February 11, 2013 by tedesco
Opposition is ok with giving subs almost for free to Israel, but selling to other middle east country is outrageous.
16:23 February 11, 2013 by raandy
If not Germany than the US, France or England, and what is nice about the deal is you can recover some of those Petrol Euros through the sale.
22:21 February 11, 2013 by neunElf
I wonder what the SPD/Green supporters in the Bremen shipyard think of their comrades opposition to these much needed jobs?
01:08 February 15, 2013 by Abertawe12
@ raandy - did you not go to school?? GREAT BRITAIN not england
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