Germany ready to sell Eurofighter jets to Saudi Arabia: minister

AFP , Monday 8 Jan 2024

Germany is ready to allow sales of Eurofighter jets to Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Sunday, having for years blocked arms deals with the Gulf kingdom.

Saudi Arabia
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrive for a press conference in January, 2024, in Berlin. AFP

 

Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain jointly build the jet and each can veto deals.

Berlin has blocked one deal, sought by London, since 2018.

"We do not see ourselves, as the German federal government, opposing British considerations on other Eurofighter (sales)," Baerbock told journalists on a trip to Israel, in which she highlighted the Saudi role in the Middle East security crisis since the eruption of the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7.

Germany has blocked arms sales to Riyadh since the 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

That includes blocking a deal for 48 Eurofighter jets signed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in London.

Baerbock noted that Saudi Arabia and Israel had "not renounced their policy of normalisation" since war broke out.

"The fact that Saudi Arabia is now intercepting missiles fired by the Houthis underlines this, and we are grateful for that," she added.

"The fact that the Saudi air force also uses Eurofighters in this context is an open secret," the minister continued.

 

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