Saudi wants to buy more tanks from Germany
Source: BI-ME with Reuters , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Sun June 17, 2012 12:45 pm

INTERNATIONAL. Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 to 800 Leopard battle tanks from Germany, at least twice the number previously expected, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

A deal for around 300 tanks was about to be signed, Bild am Sonntag newspaper said in a report sent to Reuters ahead of publication.

The newspaper said that while there was opposition to the deal in Germany's Chancellery, Foreign Ministry and Defence Ministry, there was support for it within the Economy Ministry.

"The Saudi order could secure the future of German tank-makers Krauss-Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall, which urgently need new markets because of the restructuring of the German army," said Bild am Sonntag.

A German government spokeswoman declined to comment.

Last year, Germany denied reports that it had agreed to export 270 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia. Exports of military equipment cannot be officially acknowledged as they are confidential and disclosure is punishable by a fine or jail.

Opposition lawmakers heaped pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel's government after reports it had cut a secret deal to sell the tanks, saying it contravened the country's export guidelines for military hardware.

Arms exports are a sensitive issue in Germany given its Nazi past as well as the role arms makers like Krupp played in feeding 19th and 20th century wars with exports to both sides of conflicts.

Germany has refrained from exporting heavy weapons to Gulf states in the past, given its close relationship with Israel and more recently because of the so-called Arab Spring.

Citing industry sources, Bild am Sonntag said Saudi Arabia wanted to sign the deal by July 20, when the Ramadan festival starts.

Spanish firm General Dynamic/Santa Barbara would produce the tanks under licence by the German firms, the newspaper said

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

date:Posted: November 25, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. In the end, it is unlikely that the territorial Islamic State can survive. The truth is that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all waiting for the U.S. to solve the problem with air power and a few ground forces. These actions will not destroy IS, but they will break the group's territorial coherence.
date:Posted: November 25, 2014
BAHRAIN. The "increasingly deregulated and competitive economic environment is facilitating rapid growth in business development within the private sector."
date:Posted: November 25, 2014
INTERNATIONAL. Participants in the global oil market are eagerly awaiting the Opec meeting on November 27, which could potentially set the tone and the direction of oil prices.
INTERNATIONAL. In the end, it is unlikely that the territorial Islamic State can survive. The truth is that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all waiting for the U.S. to solve the problem with air power and a few ground forces. These actions will not destroy IS, but they will break the group's territorial coherence.
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