Saudi Arabia Attempts €10 Billion Tank-Deal with Germany?
Saudi Arabia is planning to make a €10bn (£8bn) deal with Germany, one of the biggest deals ever between the two, it has been reported.
The kingdom wanted to buy between 600 and 800 German battle tanks, reported the German newspaper Bild on Sunday.
The deal is to buy 'Leopard 2' main battle tanks from Germany. Saudi prefers the German's 'Leopard 2' model instead of the M1 tanks 'Abrams' of the US, according to the report.
Bild reported that the Saudi Kingdom has already been testing the German model for a long time.
However, the deal would be subject to the approvals of respective German ministries. Both the foreign ministry and the defense ministry of Germany are reportedly against the deal due to security and human rights issues.
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A council of eight ministers and the Federal Chancellor need to approve the contract for it to be sealed off.
On the other hand, the financial status of Germany is pushing the country to close the deal, according to the report. The financial authorities of the country are seemingly inclined towards the deal as it will boost Germany's economy which is the need of the hour.
The deal will be seen as an encouragement for the German defence producers Krauss-Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall. But the country has been hesitant to sell heavy arms to Gulf countries till now.
The arms export deal was to be finalised by the first week of June nonetheless it would be postponed to a later date, said the Bild report. The Kingdom is urging to settle the contract before 20 July.
The agreement for exporting the first set of 300 'Leopard 2' tanks is ready for signing and the Spanish firm General Dynamics/Santa Barbara is expected to produce the tanks under a license after the deal.
The proposed agreement between the countries originally surfaced in July 2011 and had attracted a huge criticism within Germany. Due to the poor human rights track record of Saudi Arabia, rights groups in Germany are condemning the proposal saying the Kingdom may use it against the domestic dissidents.
Earlier it was reported that Germany was equipping Israel with nuke-enabled submarines.
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