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Sidelining the Agreement, UAE Military Sale Gets Approval by Germany

The 2017 coalition agreement was probably put aside, when the German government recently approved export of new military equipment to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has its hands involved in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis being caused in Yemen.

At its most recent meeting, the Angela Merkel-headed Federal Security Council raised a green signal to the sale of generators for an air defense system, according to a letter from the Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to parliamentarians that was revealed by a German news agency DPA.

The export license sparked a controversy in effect to the UAE’s association with the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen. However, the Emirates in July indicated a rift with the alliance, as it announced to gradually pull out some 5,000 soldiers it deployed in Yemen, which has been devastated by the war of more than four years. Besides, UAE’s complete current presence in the war-torn country is unknown.

Germany has been indulged in a strategic partnership agreement with the Emirates since 2004, and since has never put a complete halt on its arms exports to the nations. However, in 2017, the German ruling coalition of conservative bloc and Social Democrats agreed to no longer supply military hardware to any country that is “directly” involved in the conflict.

Besides, following the killing of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi ——– on orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman according to the CIA ——– German Social Democratic Party (SDP) pushed to halt the arms sales. In November 2018, a complete ban on arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia was imposed.

However, it was reported in July 2019 that a secret security council consisting of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her chief ministers, Germany’s National Security Council has been violating the restrictions mentioned in the agreement by approving arms delivery to the Saudi-led coalition.

Apart from the United States, both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been taking weapons from the European countries, deploying them in the Yemen war. A report by a Yemen-based human rights group in March stated that hundreds of civilians have been killed or left wounded using these weapons.

While Germany banned the arms sale, Britain and France had also criticized the move, saying that it prevents from selling equipment developed jointly with German components to the Gulf nations.

With the recent approval of military sales to the UAE, Germany has not just taken a step to violate the agreement, but has also triggered several issues on the humanitarian grounds. The European nation seeking benefit from the arms exports is probably unaware of the destruction that Yemen and its people are facing.

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