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December 07
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 Germany's coalition government has approved new arms export deals to Saudi Arabia, DW reports.

The reports came after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

Berlin imposed a ban on arms exports to Riyadh over its involvement in the war in Yemen, as well as allegations about the murder of U.S.-Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck confirmed in a letter to the Bundestag that several arms export deals were approved by Scholz before his trip to the region, Der Spiegel and the dpa news agency reported.

According to the letter, the export licenses are part of a joint program with Italy, Spain and Britain.

According to Der Spiegel, Riyadh will be able to purchase 36 million euros worth of equipment and ammunition for Eurofighter and Tornado aircraft.  The European cooperation project will also supply spare parts for Airbus A330 MRTTs worth 2.8 million euros, according to dpa.

German arms sales to Saudi Arabia peaked at 1.24 billion euros in 2012.

But in 2018, Germany's ruling bloc of the conservative CDU/CSU and Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to ban arms exports to countries involved in the war in Yemen. There were several exceptions to the agreement that allowed the export of some German military material to the Persian Gulf countries. The full ban went into effect a year later, after the assassination of Hashagji. The ban has since been extended twice.

The ban was in line with Germany's position not to export weapons to active conflict zones.

This year, that stance has changed, as Germany has been pressured to secure Ukraine.

Berlin is also seeking to improve its ties with energy exporters as it reduces its dependence on Russian gas. Saudi Arabia is one of the most important energy exporters in the world.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Germany is one of the world's largest arms producers and exporters, with sales up 21 percent from 2016 to 2020. Its biggest buyers were South Korea, Algeria and Egypt.

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