Reference News Network reported on December 17
Shortly before last week’s handover of Germany’s old and new government, Angela Merkel’s government approved two sensitive arms exports to Egypt, according to the German news agency Berlin on December 16.
Details of the two deals were revealed in a letter from then-Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to Bundestag Speaker Bebel Bass. Deutsche Presse journalists have seen the letter, which was first reported by Der Spiegel.
The letter was reportedly dated December 7, the day before the new cabinet was sworn in and Merkel handed over government power to Olaf Scholz.
In the letter, Altmaier outlined a total of three arms export agreements approved by the Federal Security Council: thyssenkrupp Marine Systems could deliver three MEKO A-200EN multipurpose standard frigates to Egypt; Deer Defense in Baden-Württemberg was approved to deliver 16 IRIS-T SLS/SLX air defense systems to Egypt; thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has been approved to export a customized Type 218 submarine to Singapore.
Arms exports to Egypt are particularly controversial. Egypt came in second last year’s ranking of German arms export destinations, buying about $764 million worth of weapons from Germany.
The Federal Security Council is a cabinet committee composed of the prime minister and seven ministers, including the finance minister. The current Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, was himself Minister of Finance in the previous government.
The Federal Government is reportedly obliged to promptly inform the Bundestag of the issuance of export licences by the Federal Security Council. When the Federal Security Council makes decisions on these sensitive arms sales, Merkel’s government assumes temporary functions as a caretaker cabinet. (Compilation/Cao Weiguo)
Source: Reference News Network