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Defense

Saudi Arabia keen to buy German armored vehicles

Saudi Arabia has officially asked about purchasing several hundred German armored fighting vehicles, the magazine Spiegel reports. The inquiry was discussed at a secret meeting of the German Federal Security Council.

The Federal Security Council considered the transaction on Monday, according to Spiegel. A decision has been postponed until the coming year.

The council is a committee made up of the chancellor and several federal ministers that oversees matters of national defense, including the approval of arms exports.

Saudi Arabia is specifically interested in the Boxer troop transporter (pictured above), considered by some to be one of the more advanced fighting vehicles in the world and currently employed by the German military in Afghanistan.

The Boxer would allow the Saudi Kingdom to significantly upgrade the Royal Guard Regiment of its army.

The council did not rule on Saudi Arabia's request for the delivery of "Leopard-2" battle tanks, a point of controversy in Germany.

A decision to export rocket-propelled grenades bunker-busting munitions to Israel was approved at the same meeting, Spiegel reported.

In 2011, the German government exported some 5.4 billion euros ($7 billion) worth of arms, an approximately 14 percent increase from last year. The government has not yet published figures on arms exports in 2012.

dr/mkg (dpa, dapd, Reuters)