Dhe federal government approved arms exports worth more than one billion euros in 2020 to countries involved in the conflicts in Yemen or Libya. For Egypt alone, exports of arms and military equipment worth 752 million euros were allowed until December 17. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry of Economics to a request from the Bundestag member Omid Nouripour, which the German Press Agency has received.
Larger amounts are also allowed to Qatar (305.1 million euros), the United Arab Emirates (UAE, 51.3 million euros), Kuwait (23.4 million euros) and Turkey (22.9 million euros) Armaments are delivered. In addition, permits were issued for Jordan (1.7 million euros) and Bahrain (1.5 million euros). The bottom line is that it all adds up to 1.16 billion euros.
All of the countries mentioned play a role in at least one of the two conflicts that have been going on for years. In Yemen, an alliance led by Saudi Arabia is fighting alongside the government there against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The alliance includes the UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain. However, Saudi Arabia is primarily involved in the fighting.
Coalition agreement not fully implemented
In the Libya conflict, Qatar and Turkey are involved on the side of the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Fajis al-Sarradsch in Tripoli. The most powerful adversary of Sarradsch, General Khalifa Haftar, on the other hand, is supported by the UAE and Egypt. There is currently a ceasefire in Libya and the hope for peace.
Germany has played a mediating role in the conflict that has been going on since the overthrow of long-term ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011. The federal government is primarily committed to stopping arms deliveries to the North African country and organized a summit meeting in Berlin a year ago. But even after that, according to the UN, weapons were still delivered to Libya, including from Turkey and the UAE.
At the insistence of the Social Democrats, the Union and SPD had included a clause in the coalition agreement in 2018 on arms exports to the countries involved in the Yemen war. Accordingly, the deliveries to all states “directly” involved in the war should be stopped. To date, the decision has only been fully implemented for Saudi Arabia, Sudan, which was temporarily involved in the Yemen war with ground troops, and Yemen itself.
Nouripour: “There are gaps between words and actions as big as moon craters”
The Green foreign politician Nouripour sharply criticized the continuing exports to the other states of the Yemen War Alliance. “So the agreement from the coalition agreement is not worth the paper it is written on,” he said. He also complained that the German government had allowed arms deliveries to countries that had broken the arms embargo against Libya. “There are gaps as big as moon craters between the words and the deeds of this federal government.”
In its arms export guidelines, which were only tightened in 2019, the German government committed itself to “restrictively” handling deliveries to countries outside the European Union and NATO. She always points to strong fluctuations in the statistics and in the current answer again takes the view that “a purely numerical view (…) is not a suitable means for assessing the restrictiveness of arms export policy”.
The licenses for arms exports had reached a record value of 8.015 billion euros in 2019. In 2020, however, there has recently been a significant decline. Until December 10th, deliveries were only allowed for 5.635 billion euros. This emerges from the answer to an earlier question by Left MP Sevim Dagdelen.