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Spain’s military exports to Saudi Arabia hit new highs in 2015

Madrid sold €1.7bn of weapons in first quarter to nations including Egypt and Venezuela

Spain has broken a new record in terms of its military arms trade with Saudi Arabia by selling some €447.6 million in weapons to Riyadh during the first quarter of last year, the Cadena SER radio network reported on Monday.

This figure represents 26% of all Spanish arms exports during the same period.

Overall, Spain sold some €1.727 billion in military weapons during the first quarter of 2015 – up by 25.3% from the previous year – according to a report prepared by the Secretary of State for Commerce.

Major purchases made by the government in Riyadh included two Airbus A330-200 MRTT in-flight refueling jets. But Saudi Arabia also bought spare parts for its transport jets, fighter jet engines, light munitions, and a remote control station for its weapons.

The Riyadh government purchased two Airbus A330-200 MRTT in-flight refueling jets

The official figures also include sales to the Iraqi army of artillery munition and bombs for €37.5 million. Some 300 Spanish soldiers are currently training security forces in Iraq.

Spain also sold four transport planes, spare parts and engines to Egypt for €100 million, and made a €13.1 million sale to Venezuela for a naval artillery system and other military maritime equipment.

The Spanish government has come under fire in recent years from groups such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Oxam for its increased sales to countries involved in conflicts in the Middle East.

English version by Martin Delfín.