- News sources reported on Friday that Germany had agreed to export electricity generators for air defense systems to the UAE.
- Exporting arms to the United Arab Emirates is a very sensitive issue for the German coalition government.
- This agreement between Germany's ruling parties allows for the sale of weapons in exceptional cases.
Germany is continuing its export of military equipment to countries involved in Yemen’s civil war. The German government has authorized the sale of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, which is involved in the Yemen war as part of the Saudi-led “Arab coalition.”
News sources reported on Friday that Germany had agreed to export electricity generators for air defense systems to the UAE at a meeting of the German Security Council, chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is stated in a letter to the German Bundestag’s Economic Committee.
The company that supplies arms to the United Arab Emirates is located in the town of Altenstadt, Bavaria. The company produces generators for the Patriot missile defense system. The United Arab Emirates and Germany are among those countries that use the Patriot missile defense system to protect against airstrikes. Exporting arms to the United Arab Emirates is a very sensitive issue for the German coalition government, as the tiny Gulf country, with its huge oil reserves, has long fought against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels at the forefront of Yemen’s civil war.
Licensing for the sale of military equipment to the UAE contradicts the agreement of the two ruling German political parties. Four years have passed since the center-right Union and center-left Social Democrats agreed not to export weapons to countries “directly” involved in the war. Despite this agreement, arms exports to the UAE were never completely cut off because this agreement allows for the sale of weapons in exceptional cases. As a result, Germany exported more than $5 million worth of weapons to the United Arab Emirates in the first eight months of this year.
The situation in the Gulf region has also changed. The lack of progress in the fight against the Houthis has led to the defeat of the alliance, which includes the Saudis and the UAE. In July this year, it was announced that the UAE would gradually withdraw about 5,000 troops from Yemen. The UAE has also not officially announced the number of troops it currently deploys in Yemen.
Germany’s decision to authorize arms sales to the United Arab Emirates could be linked both to the changing stances of the UAE in the Yemen war and to the escalation of threats in the region caused by the “Iran crisis.” Thousands of Germans also live in the United Arab Emirates and NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is based there.
The EU has strict rules for the sale of weapons to non-European and non-NATO countries. However, countries such as Britain and France do not accompany the suspension of arms exports to Saudi Arabia. According to the special rules laid down in the European Union, member states of this union are not allowed to sell weapons to human rights abusers or countries engaged in civil wars.
German government spokesman Stefan Zeibert recently announced a political agreement between Berlin and Paris on the principle of exporting military equipment to the non-European countries. He declined to elaborate on the content of the agreement or when it was signed.