Germany has approved the sale of 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia, according to a report in a German magazine at the weekend.
The Der Spiegel weekly news magazine, without citing any sources, claimed the German Federal Security Council approved the sale of 200 Leopard 2A7+ tanks last week.
The news comes as a surprise as Germany had previously blocked sales of military equipment to the kingdom.
The Kingdom is currently in the process of spending up to $60bn on military equipment with US companies and last month signed a $1.7bn deal with Raytheon, the world’s largest missile maker, to upgrade its missile defence system
The six oil exporting Gulf states have been spending billions of dollars in recent years on the latest defence systems. The region is forecast to spend as much as $100bn in the next few years in overhauling their military, in part to counter the perceived threat posed by Iran.