We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 13 Apr 2014 02:08 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

German tank sale to Saudi Arabia likely to be cancelled

Opposition from senior German minister set to block sale of several hundred tanks - report

German tank sale to Saudi Arabia likely to be cancelled
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

A sale of several hundred German battle tanks to Saudi Arabia is likely to be cancelled because of opposition from Social Democrat Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

German media have reported interest by Saudi Arabia in buying up to 800 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany. Such reports are never confirmed because of the sensitivity of arms deals.

The newspaper said Saudi Arabia had tried for years to get the tanks from German firms Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall and had some 18 billion euros ($25 billion) available in its budget for the purchase.

"The government will not approve the disputed export," Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported, citing government sources.

"Gabriel plays a key role in this, as he has positioned himself against a tanks delivery to the autocratic royal house, according to government sources."

Arms sales are a sensitive issue in Germany because of the country's Nazi past and the role of arms makers in fuelling 19th and 20th century wars.

Germany's national security council, which includes conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and the ministers of economy, defence, development and foreign affairs, has to approve such deals but its decisions are not made public.

Gabriel has told media in the past he thought it was a "shame" that Germany exported so many weapons.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
Heinz 57 6 years ago

I've checked some records and I can understand the minister's concerns as the export of very large numbers of tanks out of Germany, many around 75 years back, caused substantial diplomatic problems. There was an upside however as real estate projects experienced a strong rebound a few years later and this should therefore be seen positively as it is here in modern Dubai.