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German Economy Minister wants stricter rules on arms exports

BERLIN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany will strengthen the control of arms exports, as he said in a interview with German Stern Magazine on Wednesday.

"It's a shame that Germany is amongst the world's largest arms exporters," said Gabriel, "In particular, small arms simply become weapons of the civil war. So something has to change. Therefore, I'm supportive of a restrictive policy regarding arms exports."

While he understands the argument that stricter guidelines for arms exports could cost jobs, "if the weapons are given to the wrong regions, it can be a murderous trade," said Gabriel.

"No arms to countries where civil war is already being waged. Meanwhile, no one should sell arm to iniquitous regimes," defined by Gabriel as his red line.

The economy minister also called for more transparency in the authorization of arms transfers, which is unter discussion at the closed meeting of German Federal Security Council until now.

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