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The upcoming German general elections could shift the balance in Germany-Gulf relations, which have long been the subject of criticism. Though Berlin does occasionally condemn Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over their rights records, bilateral relationships have remained stable as they continue to trade. In 2019 alone, Germany’s exports to the GCC amounted to 22.9B USD while imports were worth 3.3B USD.
Last year, Berlin agreed to export 257M EUR (301.5M USD) worth of weapons to the UAE, among other arms deals with Bahrain, Jordan, and Kuwait totaling 119M EUR (139.6M USD). In response to the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, Germany opted to sell 4x4 vehicles to Riyadh instead of arms.
Observers now speculate...
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