AFP
Airbus May Sue German Government

Airbus May Sue German Government May 7, 2019

Germany’s blockage over arms exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia goes into the next round. Airbus wants to take the Federal Government to court to reach export licenses, Der Spiegel reported May 4. 

Berlin is preventing Airbus from delivering helicopters and a border security system to Saudi Arabia by withholding export licenses. “Airbus reserves all legal options in the dispute,” Dirk Hoke, head of Airbus Defence and Space, told Der Spiegel. 

Since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the fall of 2018, the German government has refused to allow any weapon deliveries to Saudi Arabia. At the time, Chancellor Angela Merkel spontaneously announced a stop all supplies of German weapons, Der Spiegel said. 

Under pressure from France and the UK, Germany is now allowing German parts to be delivered for joint European armaments projects such as Eurofighter, but finished products may not be delivered to Saudi Arabia. 

This means that the two Airbus contracts with Saudi Arabia cannot be fulfilled, and the company is beginning to feel the financial consequences. For Airbus, the two projects are legitimate because they are not classic weapons of war and furthermore cannot be used against civilian populations. The helicopters are to be used to support the pilgrimage to Mecca, while the border security system is to protect the Saudi-Yemen border. Together, these contracts are worth over a billion euros, Der Spiegel said. 

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