The German government had approved an extension of the arms embargo on Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until December 31, 2020, German media reported on Monday. This decision marks the third extension to the arms embargo, which was initially enacted in late 2018 after the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. The German government has also pointed to the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition to oust rebels from the country’s capital, in justifying its arms embargo.
The German ban has proved to be problematic for the Saudi military, as the country’s industry produces many of the components found in existing systems in the Saudi inventory as well as weapons platforms that Riyadh has been negotiating to buy, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter and Leopard 2A7 main battle tank. After initially pursuing a total arms export ban on Saudi Arabia, Berlin later eased its restrictions to enable the supply of components and spares for completed contracts, but has nevertheless resisted pressure from other large European defense producers, such as the U.K. and France, to lift the embargo on Saudi Arabia.