A German media report said on Sunday Qatar is considering buying up to 200 tanks at a cost of around two billion euros ($2.46 billion).
According to a report due to be published in Monday’s Der Spiegel magazine, Chancellor Angela Merkel is supporting the deal which will see the tiny gas-rich Gulf nation purchasing German Leopard-2 tanks. It added that a delegation from defence firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann had already travelled to Qatar to discuss the possible deal.
Other media reports suggested last month that Saudi Arabia expressed interest in buying between 600 and 800 Leopard-2 tanks, Germany’s main battle tank, for up to €10 billion.
The German chancellor has come under fierce criticism over the deal from opposition politicians and even members of her own ruling center-right coalition in the wake of Arab democratic uprisings.
Spiegel said both Merkel’s office and the economy ministry were in favour of the deal with Doha.