The German government has approved the export of certain military equipment and technology to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a secret meeting of the Federal Security Council, the Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing documents of the country’s economic affairs ministry.
According to the newspaper, Saudi Arabia will not receive German-made military products directly from the country. However, components, made by German vehicle manufacturer Kamag, will be supplied to a French company, which, in turn, exports its products to Saudi Arabia. Kamag exports “technology for the manufacture of low-bed semi-trailers” to France, but de-facto final recipient of the goods is Saudi Arabia.
In addition, the board approved partial exports to the UAE. The approved exports include components and software updates for the Cobra radar systems, which are manufactured by France and Germany. These systems have already been deployed to the UAE.
The German authorities imposed its arms exports ban on Saudi Arabia in October amid criticism toward Riyadh over the assassination of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Berlin’s move prompted Paris and London to ask Berlin to revoke the ban, since some of French and UK weapon companies used German components. The blocked export items included RR Meteor air-to-air missiles for Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which are purchased by Saudi Arabia.