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German coalition at odds for Saudi Arabia over Eurofighter

German coalition at odds for Saudi Arabia over Eurofighter

German publication WELT AM SONNTAG wrote that Chancellor Olaf Scholz from the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) are tending to give in to pressure from the British government and approve the production of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet for Saudi Arabia. According to the publication, the Greens and parts of the SPD are strongly against the move. The magazine bases its claims on “government circles”.


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Five years ago, the regime in Riyadh, which already has 72 Eurofighters, agreed with London on an option to order a further 48 machines from the armaments company BAE Systems. The deal has been on hold after a British court ruled that arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia were illegal in 2019. The background was Saudi airstrikes in the civil war in Yemen, which repeatedly killed civilians. Since 2022, however, there has been a largely stable ceasefire between the Houthi rebels and the country’s government, which Saudis and Emiratis support.
Following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, Germany took a much more robust stance than major allies such as the United States, France, and Britain by halting all arms sales to Riyadh in a definite manner. 
Since Saudi Arabia and Iran have begun to thaw relations and made progress towards ending their proxy war in Yemen, the British have argued that Germany cannot prevent the export of Eurofighter jets to third parties. This could bring an end to the conflict in Yemen.
A government spokesman responsible for the Chancellery did not want to comment on the Eurofighter discussion. Sven Giegold, the state secretary responsible for arms exports in the Green-led Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, said at a discussion event last Monday concerning countries like Great Britain and without directly mentioning the Eurofighter question: “The partners are exerting enormous pressure.”