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Arms exports: Federal Government does not stop all arms deliveries to Turkey


Does the federal government stop all arms exports to Turkey? Chancellor Merkel seemed to suggest that recently. A statement from the Ministry of Economic Affairs now shows that already approved businesses are not affected.

The German arms export ban for Turkey over the Syria offensive continues to apply only to weapons and other military assets that can be used in the conflict. The Federal Government give "no new permits" more for such goods, it says in a written response of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to a request of the left-wing foreign policy Stefan Liebich. Already approved deliveries are not affected.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had recently formulated this in her government statement in the Bundestag in a different way. The Turkish military operation against the Kurdish militia YPG leads to a "humanitarian drama" with big geopolitical consequences. "And that is why the Federal Government will not deliver arms to Turkey under the current conditions." This had led to speculation that it could be a complete arms export stop as against Saudi Arabia.


Adam Berry / Getty Images

State Secretary Ulrich Nußbaum from the Ministry of Economic Affairs responsible for export control now writes in his reply to Liebich: "The Federal Government does not issue new permits for armaments that could be used by Turkey in Syria."

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) said so when he announced the export stop a week ago. Nussbaum's answer is dated Friday, after the announcement of the ceasefire for northern Syria.

By 2018 supplies to Turkey amounted to one third of all arms exports

Liebich accuses the chancellor of having misled the public. He also criticized that exports were still not completely stopped. "The fact that even after a clear breach of international law, arms deliveries continue, is a shame." Germany continues to plead guilty to the dead and injured in northern Syria. "

The party leader of the left, Bernd Riexinger, demanded a halt to all arms exports to Turkey. Already granted permits would have to be reversed, he said at the state party conference of the Hamburg left. "It is our duty to stop the war against the Kurds."

Last year, deliveries to Turkey amounted to 242.8 million euros, almost a third of all German war weapon exports (770.8 million euros). Thus, the country ruled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was clearly the number one recipient of German armaments. In the first eight months of this year Turkey received war weapons for 250.4 million euros from Germany. This is already the highest annual value since 2005, although four months are still missing.

Source: spiegel

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