Germany 'close to arms deal with Saudi'
Berlin, December 30, 2012
The German government is close to completing a 100 million-euro arms deal with Saudi Arabia to sell 30 armoured vehicles, and Berlin's national security council has already signalled its backing, a report said.
Quoting sources, Bild am Sonntag newspaper said Saudi Arabia wants to buy a total of 100 of the "Dingo" armoured vehicles over the longer term.
The armoured vehicles are manufactured by Krauss Maffei-Wegmann and Bruker Daltonik from Leipzig, Bild said.
The national security council, which includes Chancellor Angela Merkel and the ministers of defence, development, economy and foreign affairs, still must give the final approval once the deal is completed, Bild am Sonntag said.
The government never comments on decisions by the council, which meets under strict secrecy.
Earlier this month, Der Spiegel magazine reported Saudia Arabia wanted to buy several hundred BOXER armoured fighting vehicles, another type of armoured vehicle made by Artec, a joint-venture of Rheinmettal Defence and Kraus-Maffei Wegmann.
The magazine suggested the vehicles could be used in confronting possible demonstrations. According to other unconfirmed media reports, Germany gave pre-approval for the export of 270 Leopard 2 tanks to Saudi Arabia in 2011. - Reuters
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