Germany Suspends Purchase of Armed Drones
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Berlin suspended the purchase of armed drones on the grounds that it “categorically rejects illegal killings.”
This follows a report by Amnesty International that accused Merkel’s government of aiding the US with drone strikes in Pakistan, RT reported.
A draft agreement between the Social Democrats and the Conservatives obtained by Der Spiegel condemns the use of drones for targeted attacks.
"We categorically reject illegal killings by drones. Germany will support the use of unmanned weapons systems for the purposes of international disarmament and arms control," said the statement. The government says that before acquiring the remote-controlled craft, it must thoroughly examine “all associated civil and constitutional guidelines and ethical questions.”
In spite of significant opposition in Germany – 59 per cent of the population according to a Pew Research poll in 2012 – outgoing German defense minister, Thomas de Maziere, spent hundreds of millions of euros on drones that were not permitted to fly in German airspace.
“We cannot keep the stagecoach while others are developing the railway,” declared Maziere, who announced to the German public in May that talks were underway to discuss the purchase of US Predator drones and Israeli Heron drones.
However, with the formation of a new government in Germany following Chancellor Merkel’s reelection in September, the German policy on drones looks set to change. Both the Social Democrats and the Christian Socialist Union parties voiced their opposition to the deal, writes the Local.
Although the German government has criticized Washington’s use of the remote-controlled craft to carry out strikes, Amnesty International has accused Berlin of complicity in some attacks. In a report published by the organization in October, Amnesty said it had data from Pakistani officials that Germany handed over key information on drone targets.