SAUDI MINISTER RAPS GERMAN ARMS BAN, SAYS RIYADH HAS NO NEED FOR IT
The Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs has criticized Germany's arms export ban targeting the Gulf kingdom as "wrong" and "illogical," but underscored in an interview with the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) that his country also doesn't need German military equipment.
"The idea that weapon sales were stopped to Saudi Arabia because of the Yemen war I think is illogical," said Adel al-Jubeir. "We think it's wrong because we think the war in Yemen is a legitimate war. It's a war that we were forced into," added the Saudi minister.
After being extended multiple times, Germany's ban on arms exports will once again be up for discussion in the coming weeks as the latest deadline, December 31, draws closer. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition agreed in March 2018 to prevent arms from being delivered to any country directly involved in the war in Yemen.
Before the ban, Germany did a brisk business with the kingdom, with an export volume of 254 million euros ($300 million) in 2017. For more than five years, Saudi Arabia has headed an alliance of Arab states fighting against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.