Reports: German government divided over Saudi arms sales ban


BERLIN (AP) — German media are reporting that the government is split over whether to extend a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Media group RND and news agency dpa reported that a meeting Wednesday of the government’s security committee failed to agree on prolonging the ban that expires March 31.

Britain and France have criticized Germany’s stance, saying the ban prevents them selling jointly-developed equipment with German components to the Gulf nation.

Germany imposed the ban following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last year.

RND and daily Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that the center-left Social Democrats, who are part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, have indicated they’re willing to accept exports of European arms that contain only a small percentage of German parts.

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