Saudi Arabia has slammed Germany’s arms export ban on the Gulf kingdom. They have termed it as wrong and illogical and said the country does not need German military equipment.
Some European nations have stopped weapons sales to Riyadh. This is after Riyadh launched a military campaign in 2015 in neighboring Yemen. The United Nations now calls this the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
According to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, the idea that the sales of weapons were stopped in Saudi Arabia because of the Yemen war is illogical. He told a German press agency that the country thinks it is wrong because they think that the war in Yemen is a legitimate war.
Germany’s ban on arms exports will once again be up for discussion in the coming weeks after being extended multiple times. This is in view of the latest deadline of 31st December 2020 that is drawing closer.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed upon a decision to the supply of arms in March 2018. The decision was to prevent arms from being delivered to any country directly involved in the war in Yemen.
Before the ban on arms, Germany did active business with the kingdom. According to reports, the export volume was 550 million dollars in the third fiscal quarter of 2017.
Germany Deciding Not to Sell Weapons Will Not Make A Difference, Says Adel al-Jubeir
Saudi Arabia is at war in Yemen since March 2015. The war started when a coalition led by the oil-rich kingdom launched a campaign of aerial bombardment on Yemen. The aim was to counter the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and reinstating the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Adel al-Jubeir further said that they can buy weapons from a number of countries, and they do so. Germany deciding to not sell weapons to Saudi Arabia will not make a difference to the nation.
He also emphasized that Saudi Arabia did not want to put Germany under pressure over this arms ban matter. According to him, he just wants people to look at this from a balanced perspective.
Saudi Arabia was the world’s top arms importer, spending 16.9 billion dollars on weapons in the period between 2014 and 2018. At least 4.9 billion dollars of the 16.9 was spent on European arms.
Several rights groups have criticized the Saudi-led coalition for air raids. These raids have killed civilians at schools, markets, and hospitals. They have urged Western governments to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the conflict.
More than 100,000 people have died in the war which includes 12000 civilians. 24 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 20 million are food-insecure.