Germany Says It Won't Sell Arms to Countries Involved in Yemen

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats agreed during preliminary coalition talks last week to 'immediately' stop approving arms exports to countries involved in the conflict

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles during a joint press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister in Sofia on January 20, 2018.
NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP

Germany says it won’t approve arms exports to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen, a move that could affect sales of military hardware to Saudi Arabia.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats agreed during preliminary coalition talks last week to “immediately” stop approving arms exports to countries involved in the conflict.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter Friday that Germany “isn’t taking any arms export decisions right now that aren’t in line with the results of the preliminary talks.”

Earlier Friday, officials caused some confusion when they told reporters that the practice of scrutinizing export applications on a case-by-case basis hadn’t changed.

Saudi Arabia, which supports Yemen’s internationally recognized government in its war with Iran-backed Shiite rebels, is a major buyer of German arms.