'Deeply Offended': Riyadh's Doors 'Have Closed' to German Firms - German Media

CC BY-SA 4.0 / B.alotaby / Riyadh SkylineRiyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower
Riyadh Skyline showing the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and the famous Kingdom Tower - Sputnik International
German entrepreneurs claim that Berlin's policies have angered the Arab country and made it difficult for companies to do business there.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany have deteriorated and German businesses are affected by the negative trend, the German magazine Spiegel reported.

"The German government has succeeded" in "upsetting the country so badly that German firms are being excluded from being awarded contracts," the magazine wrote, citing a letter by major Germen entrepreneur Detlef Daues Bernd Althusmann, the economics minister for the state of Lower-Saxony.

For Germans, "the doors in Riyadh have suddenly been closed," echoed another Saudi-based businessman.

"That hurts," Oliver Oehms, a German entrepreneur in Riyadh, complained.

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The negative trend has been evident over the last six months, just after Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Germany.

The move came after then-German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that "political adventurism" was taking grip of the Middle East, a comment that was made while Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was being held against his will in Riyadh, and was a comment that many perceived was directed at Saudi Arabia.

According to Daues, Riyadh was "deeply offended" by the position of German authorities. The tensions were also fueled by Germany's refusal to deliver weapons to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen as well as its commitment to the nuclear deal with Iran, a country with which Riyadh has had a fierce dispute for years.

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So far, Germany remains Riyadh's major European trading partner, with some 800 German firms doing business in the country. But the situation is changing, the article said.

According to the magazine, Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman might perceive German statements as an affront against him and his government and act accordingly, suggesting that this is because a tolerant attitude toward other opinions is not one of his strong sides.

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