'Merkel has double standards on Arabs'

Saif al-Islam says Berlin engaged in building submarines for Israel but refusing to sell weapons to Arab countries.

'Merkel has double standards on Arabs'

The eldest son of Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi on Wednesday accused Germany of double standards, saying it was building submarines for Israel but refusing to sell weapons to Arab countries.

Saif al-Islam, who is increasingly seen as the successor to his father, made the remarks in a letter addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, posted on the website of his Gathafi Foundation charity.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "asked the Germans to speed up the process of building two submarines, model 'Dolphin'... that can be fitted with nuclear missiles for his country," Seif al-Islam said.

He said Olmert had made the request during a visit last week to Berlin for talks with Merkel that according to Israeli officials focused on Iran's contested nuclear programme.

At the same time, Seif al-Islam said, "Germany is refusing to grant licences to export the simplest defence equipments and engines to Arab countries including Libya."

Germany said in August 2006 that it had sold Israel two Dolphin-class submarines but that the vessels -- ordered in November 2005 and due to be delivered in 2010 -- were not equipped to carry nuclear weapons.

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, the U212s are designed for a crew of 35, have a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2008, 11:08
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