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Germany likely to extend hold on arms exports to Saudi Arabia: report

Germany likely to extend hold on arms exports to Saudi Arabia: report
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Germany will likely extend a hold on Saudi Arabian arms exports over concerns about Saudi involvement in the Yemeni Civil War and the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A source familiar with the plan told Reuters that the freeze would likely be extended for two weeks at the end of March, when it is currently set to end. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government said Friday, according to the news service, that the announcement on whether it would end the arms freeze would come at the end of this month.

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The move is reportedly not a formal ban on arms sales to Saudi companies, but rather an informal request to companies to avoid doing business with the Saudi government while the freeze remains in place.

Affected by the policy is the United Kingdom's plan to sell 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, worth $13.24 billion according to Reuters, as well as other goods totaling around 1.5 billion euros.

Reuters reports that both Merkel and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz have been under pressure from political allies to end the arms freeze, but have so far refused to back down.

The government's concerns surround alleged human rights abuses and reported famine occurring inside Yemen, where Saudi forces are aiding Yemen's government in fighting back Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia's involvement in the death of Khashoggi, who was killed in a Saudi Consulate in Turkey, is also a top concern for European governments.

The House passed a measure earlier this year to end U.S. support for the Saudi effort in Yemen, and the measure currently sits in the Senate.