Berlin’s decision to extend the ban on the sale of weapons systems to Saudi Arabia due to both the ongoing war in Yemen and the assassination of journalist Jamal Kashogi was defended by Deputy Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Solts in response to criticism against the government, speaking in favor of centrally taking such decisions by the European Union.
The decision of the ruling coalition, taken following the insistence of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), has sparked strong opposition from the Christian Democrats (CDU) over the past few days.
“It is a confession of bankruptcy of German foreign and security policy,” said the CDU spokesman on economic issues, Joachim Pfeiffer, and dissatisfaction was expressed by the French side, which has been working with Germany on a number of weapons-related programs.
“I think what we have decided is right. Germany has to take responsibility for Yemen’s hungry children and refugee families and can no longer sell arms to the warring region,” Mr. Solts said in an interview yesterday night on the first channel of German public television ARD and pointed out that this issue is a challenge for the whole of Europe.
He even argued that in the future it should be possible for such decisions to be taken at European level. “As long as each state decides on its own, we will have situations like today, one will believe that no weapons should be sold and someone will have a different view,” he added, adding that human rights must be important for all.