Germany Greenlights Eurofighter Sales to Saudi Arabia Turning A Blind Eye to Human Rights Concerns

Germany's approval to sell Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia is largely driven by the kingdom's "very positive approach towards Israel," according to Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesperson for the German government. Hebestreit cited instances where the Saudi Arabian Air Force used Eurofighters to intercept rockets launched at Israel by Yemen's Houthi rebels.


The decision to lift the ban on selling Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia was first revealed by Annalena Baerbock, Germany's Foreign Minister and a member of the Green Party, during her recent visit to Israel. From Tel Aviv, she praised Saudi Arabia's current actions as indicative of "a push for a better future in the region." She noted that Saudi Arabia is playing a crucial role in maintaining Israel's security and preventing a regional flare-up. 


Baerbock expressed Germany's gratitude for this and stated that it's the reason why Berlin is no longer against the UK-led proposal to sell Eurofighters to Riyadh. Saudi Arabia had previously purchased 72 Eurofighter jets from the UK in 2007, and it's believed they want up to 48 more. However, due to concerns about human rights violations in the harsh Saudi-led war in Yemen, where Eurofighters were reportedly used, Germany had blocked such a sale. Germany's policy change is seen as a reflection of Berlin's strong support for Israel, especially after the devastating war against Gaza that resulted in significant destruction and over 23,200 casualties. 


Many believe that the German government is sidelining its human rights concerns about Saudi actions in Yemen to advance its robust pro-Israel agenda. Robert Beck, the German Vice-Chancellor and a Green Party member acknowledged that Saudi Arabia's human rights record "falls short of our standards." However, he added that "Saudi Arabian defense missiles also safeguard Israel." On the contrary, Sara Nanni, the Green Party’s security policy spokesperson, expressed surprise at the German government's decision. She reminded that the current German government, a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Green Party, had pledged not to supply any Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia. She expects the government to uphold this commitment, warning that future Saudi wars could resemble the large-scale bombing of Yemen that occurred less than five years ago.

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