Arms exports from Germany to Turkey and Saudi Arabia fell dramatically in the first few weeks of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new coalition, Economy Ministry said on Monday.
According to the data from the ministry, between March 14 and April 20, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were each handed just one export permit, worth 1,926 Euros (2,300 dollars) and 28,563 Euros respectively.
The numbers pale in comparison to the average value of arms exports for that same period in 2017: 3.3 million Euros for Turkey and 24.5 million Euros for Saudi Arabia.
Following strong opposition, criticism and public uproar, Merkel’s conservative bloc and their Social Democrat coalition partners agreed this time around to halt arms exports to all countries “directly” involved in the conflict in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an alliance of eight countries in Yemen in an air campaign to drive out the Houthi rebels, who are allied with Iran.
The conflict has taken a heavy toll on the humanitarian situation in one of the Arab world’s poorest countries.
In spite of being a NATO ally of Germany, Turkey has also come under intense criticism since its troops marched into northern Syria in January in a bid to drive out Kurdish militants in the region.
The German coalition agreement allows for outstanding orders to be fulfilled, while banning arms sales to Riyadh and Ankara.