Germany’s new military sales to UAE draw criticism


Germany’s new military sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite Gulf country’s involvement in the Yemen conflict, has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition and voluntary groups.

Describing arms transfer an “irresponsible policy” pursued by the Chancellor Angela Merkel, German opposition, the Left party (Die Linke) criticized the deal.

“The federal government has shown once again that it is not taking its own principles seriously,” the party said in a statement, recalling that the 2018 agreement between ruling partners Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, had mentioned to stop arms sales to countries involved in the Yemen war.

German news agency DPA reported on Friday that the government has recently approved the sale of generators produced by a German company to the UAE for its air defense system deployed in the country.

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International also criticized German government’s move to ease curbs on arms sales to the UAE.

“The arms deal with the UAE, which used German armaments in Yemen war, is extremely worrying for the human rights,” Amnesty International’s Saxony office said on Twitter.

The Spokesperson of Germany’s Economy Ministry Beate Baron declined to comment on the reports during a regular press conference on Friday, stressing that Federal Security Council’s decisions are confidential.

Merkel’s coalition government has adopted a restrictive policy on the arms exports. But, has approved various controversial export licenses, based on foreign and security policy considerations.

The UAE has been a leading member of the Saudi-led coalition, fighting in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The country plunged into a civil war in 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen’s basic infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.
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