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Germany approves $155m naval arms package to Egypt

November 11, 2020 at 4:07 pm

German navy, 27 March 2017 [Anthony Casullo/Wikipedia]

Germany has approved the sale of naval equipment to Egypt worth €130 million ($155 million), according to a letter by the German Economy Minister to the Economic Committee of the Bundestag.

The equipment includes nine patrol boats and a coastal defence ship, reports Al-Monitor.

The ships were part of a 2013 deal originally intended to go to Saudi Arabia but the sale was cancelled after Germany banned arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

In November 2018 Germany banned arms exports to Saudi following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The ban was later extended until 31 December.

Angela Merkel’s coalition government promised to stop arms exports to countries intervening in the war on Yemen, one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.

READ: Israeli general calls for closer cooperation with Egypt against Turkey

On these grounds, the German opposition contested the deal in light of Egypt’s participation in the war on Yemen, including its recent dispatching of warships to aid Saudi’s naval blockade on the country.

Human rights advocates have for years called on world leaders to stop selling arms to Egypt given the severe human rights abuses carried out daily.

Omid Nouripour of the German Green Party said the deal is “a declaration of moral bankruptcy.”

During the first quarter of 2020 Egypt was the largest arms buyer from Germany. Germany’s arms exports rose during the first half of 2019 along with sales to the UAE, which also has a highly questionable human rights record.

The UAE is a member of the Saudi-backed coalition against Yemen.

Arms sales have also been criticised in the context of the coronavirus pandemic with experts calling for the defence industry to make medical equipment rather than weapons.