German government’s arms embargo on Saudi Arabia extends until December 31, 2021.
With the decision reported by the German media, the arms embargo entering into force due to the assassination of Cemal Kaşıkçı by the official authorities of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul at the end of 2018, was extended for the fourth time.
With the decision taken by the government in Germany, new approvals for German defense industry exports will not be provided, excepting weapons systems jointly produced with other European countries.
Berlin also continues to argue the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has been operating. The Saudi army, especially the Air Force, uses the systems supplied by the Western states extensively in its operations in Yemen. The operation arose the reaction of the Western governments due to human losses. The Saud coalition has consistently denied that it targets civilians.
Besides all, according to the statement of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, an airstrike by the Saudi coalition caused dozens of children to lose their lives and many more to be wounded. In the aftermath of the incident, Saudi military authorities admitted a targeting mistake and cited it as the pretext for the shooting of a bus full of children. In the official statement, the Saudi coalition underlined that the intelligence reports indicated that the high-ranking members of the Ansar Allah group were present on the bus. Subsequently, it was noted, “Joint Forces Command feels ashamed of the error and offers its sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. “
After the incident, besides Germany, European countries such as Switzerland, Finland, Norway and Denmark stopped arms sales to Saudi Arabia. In particular, the German embargo caused the Saudi Arabian industry to suffer as it produced components for its existing systems in the armed forces’ inventory and systems such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, which Riyadh negotiated to supply.
Berlin planned an all-out embargo on Saudi Arabia in the first phase and then adopted the decision to impose restrictions on the delivery of completed components and spare parts. In addition, Germany resisted the pressure from European countries such as the UK and France to lift the embargo throughout the process.
Germany Not Lifted Embargo Despite Iran’s Attack On Oil Facilities
In February 2020, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al Saud tried to persuade Germany to lift the embargo but failed. “We hope Germany understands that we need certain tools to defend ourselves,” the minister told DPA International, reminding the damage to oil facilities. In addition, he noted that Germany’s refusal to lift the embargo was inconsistent with its attitude to ensure positive relations between the two countries.
Recently, Saudi Arabia was attacked by drones used by Ansar Allah on oil facilities. In September 2019, Abkayk and Quraysh facilities were damaged in an attack carried out by both unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles in an operation commanded by Iran, according to the statements of the United States.