The Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez Bértolo, defended yesterday the sale of Spanish arms to Saudi Arabia, emphasizing that this type of export is only authorized if it complies with the law. After denying that the government of Pedro Sánchez had had a “change of criteria” with respect to the export of defence and dual-use material to that country, she said that if there were “reasonable indications of diversion of the exported or exportable material” these authorisations could be “suspended or revoked”.
Méndez Bértolo made these statements before the Congressional Defense Committee, where he appeared to give an account of the reports on defense and dual-use material exports for 2018 and 2019. In those years, Spain sold this type of material to Saudi Arabia for 270 million euros.
The Secretary of State also reminded the audience that Navantia will have to request authorization again for the departure to Saudi Arabia of the first of the five corvettes that Navantia is building for the Saudi Navy, which is scheduled to be delivered in October 2021.