SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — A recent opinion poll has found that most Germans oppose the country’s decision to sell advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia.
The poll conducted by the Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Stern, indicated that 75 percent of Germans are against the sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.
The results of the survey, published on July 25, showed that only 20 percent of the participants approved the sales, while five percent had no opinion.
The poll was conducted by phone among 1,100 German adults between June 23 and 25.
A recent press report revealed that Germany plans to sell 600 to 800 Leopard 2 combat tanks to the Kingdom instead of the 200 to 300 it reported a year ago. The deal is estimated to be worth 10 billion Euros.
Meanwhile, German peace organizations have joined opposition parties and public protests against the planned sale of tanks to Riyadh.
Public protests and the German government’s refusal to comment on the issue have prompted the country’s parliament, Bundestag, to set up a committee for an official inquiry into the deal.
The sale requires a green light from the top-secret National Security Council, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Many are concerned over the secretive nature of the deal, saying the tanks could be used to crush internal dissent in either Saudi Arabia or neighboring Bahrain where Riyadh has played a key role in smashing the popular uprising that started in March, 2011.
According to a report published by the London-based Amnesty International (AI), German weaponry including small firearms, ammunition and military vehicles have been massively deployed in the Middle East and North Africa to suppress peaceful protests. — www.shafaqna.com/english/