Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has spoken out in favor of Germany supplying fighter jets of the type Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia. At the start of her Middle East trip on Sunday evening in Jerusalem, she pointed out that Saudi Arabia was intercepting drones and missiles that were fired at Israel by the Shiite Houthi militias in Yemen. The group, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and militias in Iraq and Syria, is supported and supplied with weapons by Iran.
Baerbock went on to say that it was an open secret that the Saudi Air Force was too Eurofighter to defend against missiles. This shows Riyadh’s commitment to a better future in the region. Saudi Arabia is currently making a significant contribution to Israel’s security and to containing the risk of a regional conflagration. “That’s precisely why we don’t see that we as the German federal government will follow the British considerations any further Eurofightern for Saudi Arabia,” said the minister.
The Greens and parts of the SPD in particular have so far opposed a delivery
Saudi Arabia has long been pushing for a decision on the sale of 48 fighter jets of the type and has signaled that it could otherwise order from French competitor Dassault. The kingdom had agreed an option on the jets with Great Britain, which, like Germany, Spain and Italy, is part of the European consortium that has the Eurofighter build together. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak discussed the issue with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and urged a change in the German position.
So far, Germany has blocked a delivery to Saudi Arabia, whose air force already operates 72 of the machines, against the wishes of the other partners. The Greens and parts of the SPD in particular have so far opposed a change in Germany’s stance, which excludes deliveries of arms to states that are directly involved in the Yemen war. There is a special clause in the coalition agreement of the traffic light parties for this purpose.
The FDP has no objections to a delivery, and the Chancellery also supports it. The position of the Federal Ministry of Economics under Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) is unclear. The Federal Security Council, which meets in secret, would have to make a decision.
Baerbock also said in Jerusalem that with its terrorist attack on Israel, Hamas also wanted to put an end to efforts to normalize with Arab countries and trigger a regional conflagration. It is all the more remarkable that Israel and Saudi Arabia stuck to their normalization course.