Germany Stops Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

MOSCOW- Germany ceased arms exports to Saudi Arabia, with some of the delivery contracts cancelled or left for later revision amid region's instability, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday citing government sources.

According to the newspaper, the decision was made after the Bundessicherheitsrat (Germany’s Federal Security Council) meeting on Wednesday, which involved German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

However, the German government has made no official statements in this respect, the security board members are also keeping silent.

In 2013, Germany approved a 360 million euro ($400 million) deal for arms delivery to Saudi Arabia, which was widely seen as a controversial step amid concerns of stability in the region as well as concerns over the country's human rights record.

Experts believe the supply of weapons to Ryadh could contribute to the deterioration of the region’s stability, as it happened in 2011, when Saudi troops were sent to Bahrain to help quell the popular uprising against the ruling dynasty.

Germany’s decision, yet to be officially announced, came amid the change of power in Saudi Arabia on Friday following the death of King Abdullah. Abdulah’s half-brother Salman was named the new ruler of the country, and pledged to continue political course of his predecessor.

Among other mid-East countries who have supply contracts with Germany are the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria and Israel.