Germany’s National Security Council has reportedly approved the provision of certain weapons and arms technology to the two main aggressor regimes involved in a deadly war on Yemen, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite a ban imposed earlier on arms exports to Riyadh.
The Council, comprising Chancellor Angela Merkel and her chief ministers, approved the supply of the weapons and the technology through joint business enterprises with France, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, citing documents from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs.
With the reported new approvals, German company Kamag will offer “technology for low-bed semi-trailer production” to France, which will then send an unspecified finished product to Saudi Arabia.
For its part, the UAE will receive, among other things, accessories for “Cobra” artillery tracking radar systems from a joint German-French manufacturer.
The approvals come two weeks after the German government extended an arms ban on Saudi Arabia over the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. Berlin exempted weapon systems that were jointly developed with other European partners from the newly-extended ban.
That decision came after Germany faced increasing complaints from European arms production partners who feared their weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE would be affected by the German embargo..
The approvals reported by Der Spiegel have prompted criticism by factions within Germany that are opposed to the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
“Apparently,” said the Left Party’s deputy parliamentary leader, Sevim Dagdelen, “things are not going fast enough with new arms deliveries to the Yemen war coalition.” She described the approvals as “simply criminal and a violation of current European law.”
Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies have been waging a deadly war on Yemen since March 2015. The United States and Britain have been assisting the coalition with target acquisition and other intelligence and logistical support.
Western arms exports to the Middle East have also surged visibly amid the war on Yemen.
Earlier this week, the German daily Zuddeutsche Zeitung reported that the German government had confirmed that the Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets had been used in the war on Yemen. The jets are produced under joint weapon development projects with other European countries such as Britain and Italy.