The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which is part of the ruling coalition, says it has plans to extend an embargo on arms supplies to Saudi Arabia despite pressure from major European countries not to do so.
Rolf Muetzenich, the deputy leader of SPD in Germany’s parliament, said the party would fight to maintain the halt in shipments of already approved weapons deals with the regime in Riyadh that Berlin had imposed in November over the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“We will push to continue the halt in arms exports to Saudi Arabia beyond the March 9 deadline, since the reasons for the imposition of the moratorium have not changed,” Muetzenich wrote in an essay published in the SPD newspaper Vorwaerts on Monday.
Muetzenich also stressed the need for a joint European policy in the field of arms exports to Saudi Arabia that would fall within the framework of a common European foreign policy.
“However, this cannot be a copy of the lax export practice of the French, British or even Italians,” he said.
The SPD believes that it is necessary in the future to introduce European regulation of arms exports and to create a parliamentary body that will monitor its observance, according to the lawmaker.