Germany halts further arms exports to parties in Yemen war

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the German parliament Bundestag prior to a debate about refugee policy in Germany, in Berlin, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany won't approve arms exports to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen, a move that could affect sales of military hardware to Saudi Arabia

BERLIN — Germany says it won't approve arms exports to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen, a move that could affect sales of military hardware to Saudi Arabia.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats agreed during preliminary coalition talks last week to "immediately" stop approving arms exports to countries involved in the conflict.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter Friday that Germany "isn't taking any arms export decisions right now that aren't in line with the results of the preliminary talks."

Earlier Friday, officials caused some confusion when they told reporters that the practice of scrutinizing export applications on a case-by-case basis hadn't changed.

Saudi Arabia, which supports Yemen's internationally recognized government in its war with Iran-backed Shiite rebels, is a major buyer of German arms.

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