BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government approved arms exports worth nearly nine percent less in 2017, government sources said, citing a report to be reviewed and approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.
The report showed approvals dropped around 600 million euros to 6.24 billion euros ($7.23 billion) last year, in line with preliminary data released in January, the sources said.
Germany is one of the world's five biggest arms exporters, according to the SIPRI research group, but this remains a sensitive issue among the public given the country's World War Two history. Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition agreed in February to limit arms sales further, and to work on harmonising export controls in the European Union.
Approvals for arms sales to non-NATO and non-EU countries rose by 100 million to 3.795 billion euros, boosted by significant orders such as a warship sale to Algeria and a submarine for Egypt, according to the sources.
German export approvals for small arms were steady at around 47.8 million euros, with France the top buyer.
Germany also became the first EU member to carry out post-shipment controls of its arms exports in 2017, the sources said.
Such inspections were carried out in India and the United Arab Emirates, with no violations found, the sources said.
(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andrea Shalal and David Stamp)
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Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 04:05:56 IST