Germany extends Saudi arms export ban into 2020

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Protesters demonstrate against German arms exports in Duesseldorf | Daniel Naupold/AFP via Getty Images

Decision comes despite warnings arms export ban could undermine trust in Germany.

BERLIN — The German government has extended a ban on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for an extra six months, despite opposition from other EU countries and aerospace giant Airbus.

A government spokesperson told POLITICO Wednesday that Berlin would not sanction new deals until March 31 2020 at the earliest. The current ban was due to expire on September 30.

The German government introduced a ban in response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. Under the policy, no new arms deal can be agreed with the kingdom and deliveries under existing contracts should be suspended.

The move comes just days after the boss of Airbus warned that a continued ban was “very damaging” to Germany’s reputation. Guillaume Faury told POLITICO that continued uncertainty undermined defense programs.

Both France and the U.K. have voiced opposition to the export ban, but Germany has so far rebuffed criticism.

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