TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Germany will continue to train soldiers from Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s brutal military campaign against Yemen.
Five Saudi soldiers are expected to start an officer’s training course in July with the German army, while two others are to receive similar preparation with the air force, reported German news agency dpa on Monday.
Seven more Saudi soldiers will begin German language training in July in anticipation of starting officer’s training in 2020.
The training was part of an agreement made in 2016 during an official visit by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
Last year, Germany imposed a temporary halt on arms exports to Saudi Arabia following the assassination of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi diplomatic building. However, it has lifted restrictions on certain components following French and British pressure.
Berlin also cited the four-year-old Saudi war on Yemen when suspending arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The aggression triggered what the UN has described as currently “the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world.”
Christian Blex, an opposition state lawmaker for the far-right Alternative for Germany, criticized the military cooperation in a tweet, saying: “(Angela) Merkel, (Heiko) Maas, von der Leyen — anyone with their hand in the game is a disgrace,” referring to the German chancellor, foreign minister and defense minister, respectively.
While Germany approved markedly fewer arms exports in 2018, exports to Saudi Arabia surged, in part due to deals that had been inked years earlier.
According to a recent UN report, the combined death toll from the Saudi-led aggression and disease is 233,000, or 0.8 percent of Yemen’s 30 million-strong population.