1003 GMT October 15, 2019
“Until March 31, 2020 no applications (for arms exports) to Saudi Arabia will be approved,” the spokesman said, Reuters reported.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday suggested she wanted to stick to the moratorium which was put in place after the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
Berlin had tied its position to the development of the war in Yemen.
Germany’s stance was “determined by the Yemen conflict” and a diplomatic resolution to hostilities there is urgently needed, Merkel said on Tuesday.
A coalition treaty between Merkel’s conservatives and Germany’s Social Democrats rules out arms exports to countries which are parties to the war.
In March, the German government came under fire for approving arms deals worth almost €400 million ($441 million) to Saudi Arabia and its allies involved in the Yemen war despite the ban.
The ban was implemented following the murder of Khashoggi and applies to all countries involved in the Yemen war.
The move has faced criticism from German arms manufacturers and some EU neighbors, namely France and the UK who argue that the freeze on exports undermines common defense projects.
The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a brutal war on Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the country's Riyadh-allied former state and crush the Houthis – objectives that have failed to materialize due to Yemenis’ stiff resistance.
According to a data unveiled in June by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), almost 100,000 people have been killed since 2015.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.