Berlin (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Germany and the United
States continue to sell weapons to their allies in the Middle East, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait. In recent months, the latter have expressed interest in
acquiring more arms, including missiles and tanks worth billions of dollars.
reports indicated that Qatar wanted to buy 200 Leopard-2 tanks worth 2 billion
Euros (US$ 2.5 billion), German
government spokesman Georg Streiter today confirmed a statement of interest by the
emirate. Last month, Saudi Arabia expressed a similar interest in buying up to
800 Leopard-2 tanks worth 10 billion Euros (US$ 12.5 billion).
a result, the German government has come under fire with Chancellor Angela
Merkel's foreign policy described as two-faced, pro-peace at UN and NATO
summits, and pro-war and arms sales to countries that do not respect human
rights and religious freedom.
The United States is not doing much different. Last week,
Defence Department, Pentagon announced plans to sell 60 PAC-3 systems, 20
launching stations, four radar systems and control stations. Last year, it reached a 30-billion-dollar
arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
news weekly Der Spiegel said that
Chancellor Merket and her government wanted to sell weapons to key countries in
the region to maintain stability and avoid outside troop deployments in cases
of conflict like those in Iraq and Syria.
is part of a broader German strategy to hold back the Iranian threat through
strategic alliances with Sunni regimes. However, some wonder what would happen
if weapons fell in the wrong hands.
Kaim, a security expert at the Berlin-based German Institute for International
and Security Affairs (SWP) has doubts about the strategy.
Selling weapons to totalitarian regimes like that of
Saudi Arabia or factions, like those in Syria, could actually increase
the 1980s, the US outfitted the Taliban in Afghanistan with modern weapons to
resist Soviet invaders, only to find themselves with one of the cruellest Islamic
regimes in the world.
powers, including Germany, sold tanks and other heavy weapons to Indonesia, which
used them against West Papua rebels.
latest example is Saudi Arabia, which sent troops and tanks into neighbouring Bahrain
to crush pro-democracy protests.