Published On: Sun, Feb 24th, 2013

Saudi Arabia revealed to be top German arms trade partner

German weapons exports to Persian Gulf states more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, with Saudi Arabia by far the biggest buyer, according to information published in Friday’sSüddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.



The states of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which form the Gulf cooperation council, spent between them €1.42 billion on German arms in 2012.

This was a huge increase from the 2011 figure of €570 million. The information was released by the Economy Ministry in response to a written parliamentary question submitted by the socialist Left party, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

The biggest arms customer of the region was Saudi Arabia which spent €1.24 billion in 2012 alone – nine times the amount it spent on German weapons the year before.

German business with Saudi Arabia is highly contentious because of the kingdom’s poor domestic human rights record and its intervention in neighboring Bahrain two years ago to help the government there put down protests.

“The Gulf states continue to arm themselves, and the government has absolutely no compunction about arming them to the teeth,” said Jan van Aken, an MP from The Left party.

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.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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