Germany’s national security council has approved the export of arms to¬†Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries in the Middle East, according to a document fromEconomy¬†Minister Sigmar Gabriel obtained by Reuters.

The decision stood in stark contrast to government action in May, when two-thirds of proposed arms export licenses were declined, according to media reports, including to Arab states that have now got the go-ahead for deals.

It was not clear if these were the same accords that were rejected earlier this year and there was no immediate comment from the German government, which has faced fierce criticism from local arms manufacturers over the recent curbs. […]