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Germany to sell Leopard 2 combat tanks to Qatar: report

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, May 16, IRNA -- Germany's national security council has given green light to the sale of 36 Leopard-2 combat tanks to Qatar although the German constitution bars arms exports to crisis regions, the weekly Der Spiegel news magazine reported Saturday.

Berlin authorized the controversial battle tank deal with the Persian Gulf sheikdom after its number one ally in the Middle East, Israel, gave its go-ahead, according to the Hamburg-based paper.

Germany is also among the world's leading arms exporters.

The total worth of German weapon sales in 2007 was 8.7 billion euros, up one billion euros from the previous year, according to the latest annual government arms export report.

Recipients of German hi-tech military gadgetry are many problematic countries in crisis regions, including Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Angola.

OT**1416

End News / IRNA / News Code 489872



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