The old German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel approved two sensitive arms deals with Egypt shortly before leaving, German news sources reported on December 16.
The deals were revealed in a letter sent by then Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, from the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, to Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), that was shared by the German Press Agency (dpa). The letter is dated December 7, a day before the swearing in of the new cabinet and Merkel’s handing over the Chancellery to Olaf Scholz of the SPD
In the letter, Altmaier mentions three arms deals which were approved by the Federal Security Council. Two of the deals were with Egypt.
- The first deal will see Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems delivering three heavily-armed MEKO A-200 EN frigates to Egypt.
- The second deal will see Baden-Württemberg company Diehl Defense delivering up to 16 IRIS-T SLS [shot-range] and SLX [long-range] air-defense systems to Egypt.
It’s worth noting that in 2018, the German government approved a deal to supply Egypt with at least seven IRIS-T SLM [medium-range] air-defense systems.
The two deals were criticized by the new German government. Katja Keul, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, told dpa that “she can’t imagine that the new government would have approved these sells.”
Egypt has working hard to boost its military capabilities. Yet, the country’s leadership are still facing criticism from some in the West, especially in the European Union, over the 2013 coup d’état which ended the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.