13:32 GMT02 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The German government has approved the export of certain military equipment and technology to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a secret meeting of the Federal Security Council, the Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing documents of the country's economic affairs ministry.

    According to the newspaper, Saudi Arabia will not receive German-made military products directly from the country. However, components, made by German vehicle manufacturer Kamag, will be supplied to a French company, which, in turn, exports its products to Saudi Arabia. Kamag exports "technology for the manufacture of low-bed semi-trailers" to France, but de-facto final recipient of the goods is Saudi Arabia.

    In addition, the board approved partial exports to the UAE. The approved exports include components and software updates for the Cobra radar systems, which are manufactured by France and Germany. These systems have already been deployed to the UAE.

    The German authorities imposed its arms exports ban on Saudi Arabia in October amid criticism toward Riyadh over the assassination of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    Berlin's move prompted Paris and London to ask Berlin to revoke the ban, since some of French and UK weapon companies used German components. The blocked export items included RR Meteor air-to-air missiles for Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which are purchased by Saudi Arabia.

    In late March, the German government decided to extend its ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, imposed in light of the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, until September 30.

    READ MORE: German Gov't Faces Suit for Banning Arms Export to Saudi Arabia — Reports

    Prior to that, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the development of the situation in Yemen, where a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels, was among the reasons for the decision to extend embargo.

    In February, the Spiegel magazine reported that UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had sent a letter to his German counterpart, Maas, demanding to lift the ban on the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Hunt noted that UK defense industry enterprises could not fulfill several agreements with Riyadh due to Berlin's decision. The magazine also reported that French enterprises might fail to fulfill about 50 export contracts due to the lack of components supplied by Germany.


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