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German arms exports to Middle East worth more than a billion in 2020


The German government in 2020 approved arms exports worth more than a billion euros to countries involved in the conflicts in Yemen and Libya.
For Egypt alone, exports of weapons and military equipment worth 752 million euros (913 million dollars) had been approved by 17 December, according to a response from the Economics Ministry to a question from Bundestag member Omid Nouripour, seen by dpa.
Egypt’s ambassador to Germany, Khaled Galal Abedlhamid, told dpa that his country sees Germany’s readiness to sell it weapons as a mark of confidence, showing “that Germany is certain that these weapons will be used for the right reasons.”
It’s the second time in a row that Egypt has been the main purchaser of German arms.
“It doesn’t make us nervous at all, that the figure is so large,” said the ambassador. “Just the opposite: the bigger the number, the closer and more lively our ties.”
Weapon sales to the region raise worries among human rights activists, who report violations across the region and are concerned about spreading conflicts in places like Libya and Yemen.
But Abdelhamid said Egypt can make good use of the weapons. “Egypt is the only country that is big enough to secure the trade routes in the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal,” he said. He also added that he didn’t understand activists’ calls to limit such sales to Egypt.
” In other parts of the world, the German report noted that permission to supply arms to Qatar (305.1 million euros), the United Arab Emirates (51.3 million), Kuwait (23.4 million) and Turkey (22.9 million) was also granted.
Licenses were granted to Jordan (1.7 million) and Bahrain (1.5 million). The amounts total 1.16 billion euros, according to the ministry.
All of the above countries play a role in either or both of the years-long conflicts in Yemen and Libya.

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