May 8, 2018 / 5:30 PM / 19 days ago

German arms exports to crisis regions up sharply under last government: media

BERLIN (Reuters) - German arms exports to countries in war-torn regions nearly doubled under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous “grand coalition” as a percentage of total arms exports, the German RND newspaper chain reported on Tuesday.

The total value of arms exports rose to 8.6 billion euros ($10.2 billion) from 2013-2017, compared with 6.6 billion euros under the previous coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats, RND reported, citing a response from the Economy Ministry to a parliamentary query by the far-left Left party.

It said the percentage of arms sales to countries in crisis regions, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, nearly doubled to 83.5 percent from 43.2 percent.

The increase came despite a pledge by the center-left Social Democrats, junior partners in the current and previous coalition government, to limit arms sales.

Left party deputy leader Sevim Dagdelen said arms exports to crisis regions were contributing to an increase in refugees.

“A legal ban on arms exports is overdue,” Dagdelen told the newspaper.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter

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