World Bulletin/News Desk
German arms exports surged by 24 percent last year to 5.85 billion euros as sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar increased, the government said in a report that is likely to further fuel a domestic debate over military sales.
Germany was the world's third largest arms exporter after the United States and Russia from 2008 to 2012 but a steady increase in business has come under close scrutiny in a country where militarism is frowned upon because of its Nazi past.
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, whose Social Democrats (SPD) share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, has promised to take a more cautious approach to licensing arms exports than the previous centre-right government.
He cancelled plans to present the annual arms report himself because the prior coalition was in power for all but a few weeks of last year.
Earlier this month, in response to criticism over the lack of transparency on sensitive export deals, the government agreed to inform members of parliament within days of approving sales. Previously, the deals had been revealed just once a year in the annual arms report.Last Mod: 11 Haziran 2014, 12:44