The German government approved nearly €450 million ($526 million) worth of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the third quarter of 2017, more than five times the €86 million it sold in the same quarter of last year, DW reported.
The German Economy Ministry disclosed the numbers after a member of parliament from the opposition Left party, Stefan Liebich, requested the information.
Egypt alone bought nearly €300 million worth of weapons, making it the number one export destination for German arms, while Saudi Arabia handed over nearly €150 million. By comparison, the two countries imported €45 million and €41 million respectively in the third quarter of 2016.
The ministry's disclosure did not give details on the types of weapons exported, but a large proportion of the sales to Saudi Arabia likely consists of four patrol boats and 110 military trucks. These sales were disclosed by the government in July, though neither the total value of the sales nor the individual value of each item were revealed at the time. It also remains unclear what Egypt bought, and Liebich has already filed a follow-up information request with the government.
Jürgen Grässlin, spokesman for the anti-arms trade campaign said the government does not like to disclose the value of individual deals but guessed that the huge sums were likely to be for armed boats. "And they always come with weapons and with ammunition, depending on how it's calculated," he said.