German arms sales to the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are set to top last year's record of 1.42 billion euros (1.89 billion U.S. dollars) judging from the booming sales in the first six months, local media reported Wednesday.
Germany has approved export of weapons worth 817 million euros to the six governments of the GCC so far this year, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing figures from the Federal Economics Ministry. It also said most of the weapon exports are destined for Qatar.
According to the figures released by the Federal Economics Ministry in response to a parliamentary enquiry, 635 million euros worth of weapons have been sold to Qatar, which reportedly bought 62 German Leopard 2 combat tanks and 24 howitzers.
In 2012, German military exports to the Gulf nations doubled from 570 million euros (758 million dollars) in 2011 to 1.42 billion euros, the paper had previously reported. The biggest buyer of German-made weapons last year was Saudi Arabia, who spent 1.24 billion euros on the import.
The other countries of the GCC are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed in a five-yearly report published earlier this year that Germany is the world's third largest arms exporter behind the United States and Russia.