Report: Qatar asks to buy some 200 German tanks
The German Army’s Leopard 2A5 (file photo)
A new report says that Qatar has asked to purchase Leopard 2 combat tanks from Germany, a month after Saudi Arabia expressed interest in buying the military vehicles.
The Sunday report by German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said Doha had asked to buy about 200 of such tanks at the cost of EUR two billion (USD 2.46 billion).
The magazine noted that a delegation from the German defense firm, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann had already travelled to the Qatari capital to arrange the deal, adding that Chancellor Angela Merkel was in favor of the sale.
The report angered some German lawmakers, who believe the potential arms deal is against restrictive guidelines on the sale of weapons to repressive regimes.
Senior politician Volker Beck, from the opposition Green party, said he opposed the sale of advanced weaponry to Qatar as the emirate did not observe acceptable human rights standards.
Last month, Saudi Arabia expressed interest in acquiring between 600 and 800 Leopard 2 tanks in a potential deal, which is estimated to be worth EUR 10 billion (USD 12.31 billion).
According to a report, published by Amnesty International, German weaponry, including small firearms, ammunition, and military vehicles have been massively used in the Middle East and North Africa to suppress peaceful protests.