German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and the Free Democrats (FDP)
Berlin - XINHUA
Germany's arms exports have seen a rapid rise in 2013, including a record amount to countries outside of the European Union (EU) and NATO, an annual report published Wednesday by the German cabinet showed.
According to the arms export report, the total value of approved export licenses for weapons stood at 5.85 billion euros (8.12 billion U.S. dollars) last year -- an increase of 1.14 billion euros or a nearly 25 percent rise on 2012.
The deals were approved by the last government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and the Free Democrats (FDP).
62 percent of those exports went to countries outside of the EU and NATO, with which Germany is not allied, the report said. Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have become Germany's biggest customers in this category.
German arms exports have come under scrutiny in recent years because of the increasing sums involved, and because a greater number of arms are heading to non-EU or NATO partners as well as potentially unstable regions.
Since the forming of the current coalition government of Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the beginning of this year, Germany is seeing an increasingly restrictive arms export policy.
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) has promised a much more cautious approach to licensing arms exports. According to recent media reports, Germany has declined numerous applications for arms export licenses.