Germany, UAE Renew Business Ties, Gloss Over Arms Export, Yemen War

Local Editor

Germany and the United Arab Emirates have extended their multibillion-euro partnership during a meeting in Berlin. Opposition Greens decried the UAE's role in the Yemen and Libya conflicts, and Sudan's turmoil.

Visiting United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday signed a 46-point declaration focused on business links and only touching on efforts to bring peace to war-torn Yemen.

Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, one of UAE's seven emirates, at the signing said over the past 15 years UAE-German trade had swelled from $3 billion to $14 billion (€12.4 billion) and he hoped for further growth.

"We want to strengthen these relations, we want to build bridges between the Emirates and Germany," said al Nahyan, referring to the broad-range partnership that is also supposed to include humanitarian aid.

Merkel added that the declaration included an agreement to seek a political solution for Yemen, and she admitted that its peace process begun last year in Stockholm was "unfortunately still distant."

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a bloc of Arab states, including the UAE, that backs the resigned Hadi regime in its fight against Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah revolutionaries.

Last year, Germany imposed a partial arms embargo on countries involved in the Yemen conflict and slapped a ban weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Subsequent pressure from Britain and France resulting in a partial lifting of that ban, with exemptions given to joint European arms exports previously licensed for sale to the UAE.

The 46-point declaration did not mention the arms export issue and instead highlighted joint German-UAE ventures in the energy sector.

Aspects mentioned were renewable energy capture but also potential value-creation gains in the oil and gas sectors and extension of cooperation between UAE firm ADNOC and Linde of Germany in the industrial gas production sector.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by Website Team