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German arms sales to Arab states surge by 50%

A German military officer showing off a hand-held anti-tank weapon

German weapon exports to Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa have reportedly doubled in the first half of the year 2015 with German tanks being especially popular among the arms importers.

The Saturday report by Germen news magazine Der Spiegel was released despite an earlier announcement by German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel that the country would reduce its exports of military equipment to foreign nations.

Despite the pledge by Gabriel, German arms exports to Arab states have climbed by 50 percent since January compared to the same period in the previous year.

According to the weekly magazine, the German government endorsed significantly more weapon sales to foreign countries between January and late June 2015 than the similar period in 2014.

The total amount of the so-called individual weapon sales licenses surged by nearly 50 percent and reached 3.31 billion euros, the report added.

Along with collective arms export licenses, chiefly in collaboration with fellow NATO members, the entire amount of such arms sales would come to about 6.35 billion euros.

The rise in export volumes especially concerned Arab countries and North Africa, the report said, adding that weapon sales to these regions have risen from 219 million to 587 million euros.

According to the magazine, Berlin recently exported 12 of its "Fuchs" tanks to the Persian Gulf state of Kuwait as well as a "Dolphi" class submarine to the Israeli regime.

Germany recently announced its intention to spend billions of euros to improve military hardware and repair recurring problems.

“We will invest up to €6 billion in the next seven to eight years to obtain improvements in these areas,” the German defense ministry spokesperson stated on Friday.

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