Germany's news in English
Merkel won’t rule out weapons aid to Iraq
German planes carrying aid have been sent. Photo: DPA
AFP/The Local
news@thelocal.de
@thelocalgermany
15 August 2014
08:22 CEST

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out about Iraq, echoing the sentiments of her foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that in the case of Iraq, Germany may reconsider its traditional ban on exporting weapons to active conflict zones.
"Stopping the advance of these extremists and helping those in need is a task for the entire international community," she was quoted as saying by the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.
Merkel told a local newspaper that "the suffering of the people in northern Iraq, of the Yazidis, Christians and others, at the hands of the terror group Islamic State is appalling".
Germany, a major arms manufacturer, as a rule does not export weapons into war zones, but Merkel pointed out that German law allows for exceptions in cases that impact national security.
"When it comes to arms exports, the government always has some political and legal leeway, and if necessary we will exhaust it," said Merkel. "Here we will coordinate closely with our partners and, above all, with the United States."
She added that: "German security interests are a factor in our deliberations, but no decisions have been taken yet".
Four German Transall C-160 military transporters, carrying 36 tonnes of mostly medical and food supplies, will fly via Turkey to the Kurdish city of Arbil, the German defense ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"The federal government has decided to provide rapid and effective humanitarian aid to people in need in the north of Iraq," it said.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said this week that Germany may also send non-lethal military hardware such as armoured vehicles, helmets, security vests and night-vision gear.
Many prominent lawmakers in Germany have also called for the embattled Iraqi state and Kurdish forces to be provided weapons to help them push back the jihadist onslaught.
Germany, struggling with the legacy of its World War II aggression, has practised restraint in foreign military engagements and usually been reluctant to send troops or weapons into foreign war zones.
A poll by the Emnid institute conducted on Wednesday found that 71 percent of respondents opposed the idea of German arms shipments to Iraq, while 87 percent favoured sending humanitarian aid and 68 percent supported sending non-lethal military aid.
Share this article
Play video on original page
Member comments
Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.
More news
How Merkel’s CDU plans for half of key party posts to be filled by women
Merkel’s legacy at stake as Germany takes EU reins
Berlin Wall ‘reminds us to defend democracy’: Merkel
Most Germans believe Merkel shaking ‘a private issue’: poll
‘Germany’s future depends on immigration and integration’: Merkel
FOR MEMBERS
How rumours of Merkel’s demise have been greatly exaggerated
AKK calls unscheduled CDU summit, stoking talk of imminent Merkel exit
German arms exports continue to fall amid changing attitudes
Related articles
‘Nothing to do with facts’: Merkel slams coalition partner in row over face masks
Germany’s Chancellor Merkel warns on anti-Semitism ahead of Gaza protests
Merkel hopes history won’t brand her ‘lazy’
Majority of Germans ‘in favour of a new government’
Merkel ‘very hopeful’ that unvaccinated tourists can travel inside Europe this summer
Noticeboard
25/05Baking course eclairs
24/05Virtual Bingo in aid of the Poppy Appeal
02/056 WEEK BOOTCAMP – Artist Stop Being Poor
30/04Conversation group to help with German language
29/042-bedroom apt. with balcony & fitted kitchen (Stuttgart Süd)
View all notices
Post a new notice
Discussion forum
19/06
Weather in Berlin and surrounds
18/06
How to contribute to Roth IRA from Germany
18/06
Married in DE, living in DK: Where to divorce
18/06
Study visa question, Finanzierungsnachweis, etc.
18/06
Ripped off by a Steuerberater
View all discussions
The Local Europe AB
Vasagatan 10
111 20 Stockholm
Sweden